Niall Horan, the hugely popular Irish singer-songwriter from the band One Direction, is to play in next month’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. The band had massive worldwide success, before taking a break in January 2016.
Horan, a golf enthusiast, who is still a member of his home town club Mullingar in Westmeath, caddied for Rory McIlroy last year in the traditional par three tournament curtain-raiser to The Masters in Augusta and now hopes to hit a few high notes for himself.
Horan said: “I love the history and tradition of golf and the Alfred Dunhill Links is played at the most iconic venue in the world. It will be amazing walking these famous fairways with so many great professionals and actually being a part of the tournament. I hope I can create a few moments of my own, but simply being there and being part of this great event is enough.”
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which takes place from October 6-9, celebrates links golf at its finest and has raised millions of pounds for charity since its inception. The Championship is played over three of the world’s best known and respected links courses – the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and the highly regarded Kingsbarns Golf Links.
Horan, who is a partner in golf management company Modest! Golf which aims to discover the next generation of talented young golfers, is also a great supporter of charity. In May 2016, he teamed up with Justin Rose to create the Horan and Rose Gala which raised more than £800,000 for charity.
He said: “Helping more people to take up golf, especially those who cannot afford it or for whom it is difficult, is something I am very passionate about. I am delighted to see the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation actively supports young golfers.
With a prize fund of US$5 million, the Championship incorporates two separate competitions - an individual professional tournament for the world's leading golfers and a team event in which the professionals are paired with some of the most celebrated amateur golfers which creates a unique atmosphere.
Among the top pro’s confirmed to play are European Ryder Cup team members Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Pieters, Lee Westwood, Masters champion Danny Willett and Chris Wood, plus captain Darren Clarke. Kaymer and Westwood are former winners of the Championship. Other Major Champions in the field include Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie, Angel Cabrera and Y.E.Yang.
Admission is free for all spectators over the first three days with final day tickets on Sunday, October 9 available to purchase at the entrance gates for £20 (Seniors £15) or in advance here.