FOUR of the last five winners of the Open Championship are on the entry list for the Dunhill Links Championship in a fortnight’s time.
American Stewart Cink, who denied Tom Watson at Turnberry in 2009, has accepted an invitation to play in the $5 million pro-am event at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews. He’s set to join Louis Oosthuizen, who succeeded him as Open champion at St Andrews, his fellow South African Ernie Els, who claimed a second Claret Jug at Lytham last year, and 2011 winner Darren Clarke.
The field is also set to include three of Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes at Medinah last year –match-winner Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie and Peter Hanson.Jose Maria Olazabal, the captain in Chicago, is also in the line-up, as are six other major champions – Rich Beem, Michael Campbell, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington and Charl Schwartzel.
A strong Springbok contingent also includes defending champion Branden Grace, who capped a fairytale 2012 campaign by landing his fourth European Tour title on the Old Course last October.
Meanwhile, an auction for an amateur spot in the event closes at 6pm on Monday, with the winning bid donated to the St Andrews Pilgrim Foundation.