On Thursday morning the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship started at 9 am at all three courses with players teeing off from the 1st and 10th tee. We could not have wished for better weather. St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie were basking in the sun, the sea was looking as calm as a village pond and not even a wee breeze disturbed the scenery. With temperatures sitting around the 20 degree mark it is the kind of weather that makes people (the visitors especially) fall in love with Scotland. The excitement the good weather brought was still very much alive in the media centre this morning. One of the journalists who has been coming to St Andrews for 23 years to cover various tournaments said that he did not remember having weather like this even once. Well, it certainly is a huge improvement compared to last year when we were nearly blown away together with the whole media tent.
Last night all the journalists were treated to a lovely dinner at the marquee behind the 17th green. Beautifully laid tables were prepared at 6:30 pm and after the drinks reception everyone was invited to help themselves at the warm buffet. On the menu were exotic dishes such as Moroccan spicy chicken, a cous cous salad as well as delicious Scottish fish pie. You could not possibly resist the plum crumble and the panna cotta with raspberry coulis either. Plenty of refreshments were available for the thirsty media types with the champagne and wine proving particularly popular. It must be said that the journalists receive the royal treatment from the Dunhill team. The media dinner is a really nice way of thanking the journalists for covering the event. And you will have hopefully seen the fruits of their labour by now.
The highlight of the media dinner is always the legendary media quiz. The quiz is prepared every year by the Dunhill PR Person Roger Kelly to the delight of all the journalists. It is a fiendishly difficult set of 20 questions testing the most in-depth sports and course knowledge as well as the personal/career background of the players taking part in the tournament. Incredibly enough it is also won by the same table every year: the photographers. So it was last night and yet again the photographers managed to prove that they know the answer to the trickiest questions prepared by Roger. We have to give them credit because they are always out there in sun, wind or rain and capture the magical moments.
To switch our attention from the socialising back to golf, there has been a lot of focus on Martin Kaymer as last year´s champion. At his press conference Martin paid a fantastic tribute to St Andrews saying: “For a lot of players Augusta is their paradise – for me St Andrews is a paradise. I´m very rarely excited about playing a golf course, but here you want to play 36 holes every day. This is home for me. When I was standing on the first tee today it felt so peaceful. This is the home of golf and it is where I feel the most comfortable.”
Joining the famous golf stars was also a local 14 years old student of St. Leonard´s High School St Andrews. Alasdair McDougall, who hails from Drumoig near St Andrews, is a promising young golfer who won the St Andrews Links Junior Golf Association (SALJGA) Order of Merit this year. He teed off on the Old Course today in the same group as SALJGA´s honorary president Paul Lawrie and partnering Dutch professional Joost Luiten.
Alasdair said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for me. I love playing golf and the chance to play in the same event as some of my heroes is just unbelievable. The Dunhill is a great event and it doesn´t get any better than playing in a championship on The Old Course. It will be a bit nerve-wracking but I am really looking forward to it.”
After the first round the excellent conditions were reflected in the scoring with four players tied on six under par – 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, Rafael Cabrera-Bello from Spain, Michael Hoey from Northern Ireland and Austrian Markus Brier. With big names such as Graeme McDowell, Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood not far behind it is not just the weather that is hotting up!
To learn more about the happening at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship please follow this blog.
Posted on September 29, 2011 by admin@golfcomms