Rory McIlroy out to end season on '˜real high' in Scotland

Rory McIlroy hopes to complete his golfing year on a '˜real high' with victory in next month's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

Rory McIlroy will be making his final appearance of 2017 when he tees up in the Dunhill Links Championship next month. Picture: Getty Images

The popular Northern Ireland golfer, currently world No 6, will be looking for his first victory in the prestigious European Tour event, having finished runner-up in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

McIlroy said: “I’ve finished second three times, so perhaps this is the year I can go one better and end my season on a real high.”

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The four-time major champion has had a close relationship with the Alfred Dunhill Links over the years. In 2007, at 18, he became the youngest player to earn a European Tour card from tournament play when he finished third.

“The Alfred Dunhill Links is a great, late season event and I really enjoy the format. Played over three world-class courses I greatly respect, I can’t wait to come back again in October,” added McIlroy.

“The support I’ve had from the Scottish and visiting fans has always been fantastic and I have had some wonderful memories on these courses.

“I won my European Tour card after the 2007 Championship and I’ve played with my Dad a couple of times since – always very special experiences and times I’ll never forget.”

McIlroy heads a world-class field in the celebration of links golf, played over the Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, from 5-8 October.

Also confirmed is world No 16 Tommy Fleetwood, and a classic line-up of major winners, including Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell and Danny Willett, plus current Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn and vice-captain Robert Karlsson, who won the tournament in 2008.

Also in the field are former world No 1 Luke Donald, Ross Fisher, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Branden Grace, Chris Wood and Lee Westwood.

Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton returns to St Andrews attempting to become the first to win back-to-back Alfred Dunhill Links titles.