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McIlroy Joins Dad, Celebrities in Scotland

(Photo: Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy will make a rare golfing appearance alongside his dad, Gerry, on three of the world’s great courses at this week’s Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

For those so inclined there is also a celebrity element to the event with sports stars, musicians and entertainment types aplenty in the field.

Any opportunity to see golf played at the Old Course at St Andrews is one golf fans should embrace but the added joy of seeing Carnoustie and Kingsbarns is a bonus.

Among the big names to grace the fairways this year will be Shane Warne, a mainstay of the tournament in recent years, who will tee up with Ryan Fox while surfing legend Kelly Slater teams with South African Dylan Frittelli.

Musician Huey Lewis plays with American Cliff Kresge while Ronan Keating plays with Lee Westwood.

Celebrity spotting aside there is a decent field of proper golfers to keep the attention of golf fans, chief among them world No. 6 McIlroy, who also played in the Dunhill Links with his father in 2014.

Coming off a close call last week at the British Masters, it will be a confident McIlroy who returns to one of his favourite venues in world golf, the Old Course at St Andrews, for Thursday's opening round.

Other potential contenders include one of the few standouts at last week’s Presidents Cup, Branden Grace, and recent winner Matt Fitzpatrick.

There are 15 Australians teeing up with perhaps the most interesting of them Stuart Appleby whose place in the field comes courtesy of a sponsor’s invite.

Appleby missed the cut last week at the Web.com Tour Championship and for the first time in two decades holds almost no status on the PGA Tour.

Nine times a winner in America, Appleby has been plagued with injury in recent years and his presence in the field sets up the intriguing, though admittedly unlikely, possibility that the 46-year-old could earn himself a European Tour card.

Among the Australians to watch, Rhein Gibson could be a surprise contender with his aggressive style of play well suited to the Old Course, in particular.

Gibson is based in America and, like Appleby, missed earning a card for the main US Tour at last week’s Web.com Tour Championship.

Gibson has played one full season on the main Tour in the US but failed to keep his card and openly stated during the 2016 Perth International that he would happily play in Europe if he were to win a card there.

New Zealand’s Ryan Fox is likely the best of the Australasian chances and is no doubt looking forward to a relaxed week in the company of Warne, a self-confessed golf nut.

Fox played some brilliant golf at the Old Course during the 2015 Open Championship but the key for him, like all the power players in the field, will be managing his game at the other two host venues.

The others from this part of the world teeing up this week are: Andrew Dodt, Brett Rumford, Jason Scrivener, Sam Brazel, Ashley Hall, Todd Sinnott, Matthew Giles, Aron Price, Andrew Evans, Stephen Leaney, Wade Ormsby, Marcus Fraser and Scott Hend.

THE WEEK IN GOLF - THREE WINS FOR HANNAH GREEN:

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Rod Morri
About The Author : Rod Morri

Rod is an award-winning golf journalist with more than 20 years experience and has covered everything from major tournaments to junior golf at the local level. Rod began his life in the media as a daily news reporter for News Limited in Sydney.

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