Spain's stylish end as Dunhill opts for glamour

When Jose Maria Olazabal was asked what the Spanish team learned from losing to South Africa in the final of the Alfred Dunhill Cup two years ago, he replied: "Just to try to the very last moment."

When Jose Maria Olazabal was asked what the Spanish team learned from losing to South Africa in the final of the Alfred Dunhill Cup two years ago, he replied: "Just to try to the very last moment."

So just as Australia won the first two tournaments, Spain won the last two, but only after leaving the drama to the very last. South Africa were only seen off after Miguel Angel Martin, a replacement for Sergio Garcia, had made a remarkable birdie at the 18th and then beaten David Frost at the first play-off hole. After 16 years, the Dunhill Cup is no more.

"I'm sad in a way," said Olazabal, "because we have done so well in the last three years. But obviously, life goes on. Hopefully, the new tournament will be a success."

Next year the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be played on October 18 to 21. The event will be similar to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am on the Monterey Peninsula. Each professional plays with an amateur with a team event as well as the individual. Over the first three days, they will play one round at each of the Old Course, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, a new layout just outside the town.

Ian Botham liked the course so much he was there at least twice last week. Botham is likely to be among the stars donning their waterproofs and woolly hats. Others could be Steve Redgrave, Ivan Lendl and Chris Evans, not to mention the old stagers such as Jimmy Tarbuck and Terry Wogan.

There will no doubt be Hollywood glamour. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones were in town last week while Kevin Costner and Samuel L Jackson have been guests of the sponsors in the past. Bill Clinton will have a free diary by then, although over here "mulligan" translates as "three off the tee".

While the chance to play at the home of golf is clearly a major attraction for the celebs, the ancient university town is an odd venue for such a tournament in one sense since stars pass through the Old Course Hotel without anyone blinking an eyelid. Former US presidents are regular visitors, while the Duke of York is a member of the Royal and Ancient and due to become the club's captain in 2003.

To grab the professionals' attention, the new tournament will offer a purse of over £3m, the same level as the World Golf Championships and greater than this year's Open. This represents a tripling of the current purse, but the pot remains roughly the same if appearance fees, which will no longer be paid, are included.

Without each countries' best players the tournament lost a little lustre, but nothing showed it had stood still more than the fact that the purse of £1m, once so impressive, remained constant for almost a decade. But money was hardly the point when the Australian trio of Greg Norman, Graham Marsh and David Graham beat America in the first final in 1985.

The Aussies won two titles, as did Spain, South Africa, Ireland and England. The United States, in 1989, '93 and '96, were the only nation to win three times. Yet the pipes were never played more proudly or loudly, or with more persistence, than when Scotland, who had to endure defeats by Paraguay and India on their home patch, won for the only time in 1995. It was always a quirky event. The medal matchplay format, although ensuring every match was subject to the treacherous 17th hole, was never as urgent as straight matchplay.

In 1992 the knock-out format was changed to a round- robin style event to guarantee everyone had three games and an afternoon of fevered calculations to find out who had qualified.

The wind could be bitter, rain and hail lashed down, but on one afternoon in 1987 it was warm, calm and sunny enough for Curtis Strange to take just 62 strokes in touring the Old Course. Six years later, Carlos Espinosa of Mexico took 25 more thrashes for the highest recorded round. In 1997, Joakim Haeggman played the front nine in 27.

Mark O'Meara birdied eight holes in a row from the second to the ninth in '96, but the Canadian Rick Gibson bogeyed the entire back nine in '94. Nick Faldo still holds the scoring average, Greg Norman the record for 11 successive wins between 1985 and '87. In 1998, Tiger Woods used the event to scout the Old Course. He lost to Santiago Luna then, but will always be the 2000 Open champion.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world