Dunhill Links Championship loaded with stars: A fan’s look

The regular PGA Tour season might have ended with the Tour Championship, but there is still highly competitive golf going on.

The Dunhill Links Championship opened on Sept. 29, 2011. If you weren't paying attention, you might think this tournament didn't offer a lot of star power. You would be sorely mistaking. There are plenty of huge names taking part in this tournament. Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood are among the big names that are playing in this unique tournament.

This tournament is actually spread over three different golf courses. The first three rounds take place at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. After those three rounds there is a final round at St. Andrews. The tournament carries one of the biggest purses on the European Tour. The first three rounds of the tournament also serve as a pro-am. In addition to tracking a leaderboard for professionals, there is also a leaderboard for teams of professionals and amateurs. A lot of celebrities have taken part in the past, including Michael Douglas, Samuel L. Jackson and Hugh Grant. Clearly, there is a lot to offer golf fans at this event.

The real attraction for those wanting to watch golf is the competition among the pros to reach the final round at St. Andrews. Only the top 60 will make it. In addition to the stars mentioned above, the tournament also includes Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer, John Daly, and a number of other former major winners. There is no shortage of recognizable names participating. There are also many Americans, including Johnson and Daly.

The Dunhill Link Championship is a golf tournament like none other. But the fundamentals remain the same. Whenever you have a tournament with such a high amount of prize money you are going to get big names playing. All of the big guns in Europe are out for this tournament as are a number of big American golfers. It has the feel of a fall version of the British Open. This tournament is proof that golf is alive and well after the FedEx Cup playoffs end.

* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has watched and played golf since high school and has attended several professional golf events.

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