Family ties abound at the Alfred Dunhill Championship as major winners and Ryder Cup stars get to compete alongside fathers, mothers and sons in this unique event.
When Matt Fitzpatrick sailed a perfect bunker shot to the heart of the 18th green at Brookline and the galleries erupted for the US Open champion-elect, nobody cheered more loudly from behind the ropes than his mother, Susan. This week, at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, she’ll be a lot closer to the action: Matt and Susan will play together in the Team Championship, one of a group of family teams taking on this unique event.
Susan – along with Matt’s father Russell and brother Alex, also a pro golfer – cheered Matt to his first major win in Massachusetts. A 21st-place finish at the Open Championship at St Andrews followed that, and Fitzpatrick is happy to be back at the Old Course this week - with his mum on the other side of the ropes.
“Everyone wants to win big tournaments at iconic venues and I’m excited to share the Dunhill experience with my mum this year,” he said. “I had a great welcome from the Scottish fans when I played St Andrews in the Open Championship after my win at Brookline. I’m sure it will be the same this time.”
Susan said: “I’m very much looking forward to playing with Matt in what I hope will be a great week in Scotland.”
The Alfred Dunhill Link Championship has a habit of celebrating family ties and this year is no different.
Rory McIlroy will once more partner his dad, Gerry, in the Team Championship. Team McIlroy almost won it all the last time they were here, in 2019, equalling the score of Tommy Fleetwood and Ogden Phipps and losing out only on the tiebreaker of Fleetwood’s superior final-round score – Fleetwood and Phipps are reunited, too, for 2022.
Tyrell Hatton – a back-to-back winner here in 2016 and 2017 – is partnered by his father, Jeff, for the second time. Jeff is also Tyrell’s swing coach and watched his son fall just short of a record third victory last time out as a superb weekend charge left him two shots back from winner Danny Willet.
Thomas Bjorn is playing on the other side of the generation game – his partner in the Team Championship is his son, Oliver.
The rest of the draw – including the unusual pairing of Floridian West Ham fan Billy Horschel and the former captain of the Hammers, Mark Noble – can be found here.