ST ANDREWS, August 30, 2023 – Champion Ryan Fox will be back at St Andrews in October to defend his Alfred Dunhill Links title, but already he knows he will face a stiff challenge.
Among those who have confirmed they will be playing are several of the biggest international stars in the game who all have special connections with the event:
• World No.15 Tommy Fleetwood, is enjoying an excellent season and hoping to go even further this year at St Andrews than in 2019, when he won the Alfred Dunhill Links Team Championship.
• US PGA star Billy Horschel, who loves playing this side of the Atlantic, was the winner of the 2021 BMW PGA and played last year in the Alfred Dunhill Team Championship with former West Ham footballer Mark Noble.
• Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, now enjoying a highly successful Seniors career, is the most successful player in the history of the Alfred Dunhill Links having won two Individual Professional titles and two Team Championships with J.P.McManus. He would like nothing more than to become the first winner of three Individual titles.
• Danny Willett has won both the Individual Professional title in 2021, on his birthday, and the Team Championship in 2016, the same year he won the Masters, while France’s Victor Perez, currently third on the DP Tour Race to Dubai, was champion in 2019.
Also teeing up at St Andrews will be one of Scotland’s local heroes, Bob MacIntyre, unlucky not to win this year’s Genesis Scottish Open because of an amazing Rory McIlroy back-to-back (have removed double) birdie finish. MacIntyre heads a group of Scottish golfers including Grant Forrest, Ewen Ferguson, Calum Hill, Richie Ramsay, Connor Syme and 2004 Individual Championship winner, Stephen Gallacher.
Another exciting competitor is South Africa’s Ockie Strydom, the flamboyant winner of last year’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, which he followed up with a win in Singapore.
Looking ahead to October, New Zealander Ryan Fox said: “Last year was definitely my biggest win. The Dunhill Links has always been one of my favourite events. I was lucky enough to pair off with Shane Warne quite a few times. He was one of my idols and obviously losing Warnie last year it felt like it took on more meaning. I had a great final day on Sunday, and it doesn’t really get any better than coming down the Old Course with a chance to win the tournament and getting it done at the end.
“I’d always loved the event, the three fantastic golf courses, I love the format with the professionals playing with amateurs. To be honest I didn’t feel that comfortable with my golf game early in the week, then went out on Thursday and something clicked and I shot 66 and it just went on from there.”
Fox is taking a break from golf at the moment after playing tournaments in the United States before returning to the European circuit. “My game has been pretty solid if unspectacular this year. It’s quite new playing in the US and I’ve played in a lot of designated events. I’ve had consistent top 25, top 30 results. The game is very close.
“I’ll play the Irish Open, then the BMW PGA at Wentworth, the French Open, then take a week off for the Ryder Cup, then be ready for the Alfred Dunhill Links.”