Champions Challenge to return at St. Andrews


Defending champion Rory McIlroy will headline a field of former Open winners when the Champions Challenge returns to St. Andrews this July.

The four-hole charity event will be held July 15, the day before the first round of the Open Championship on the Old Course. Participants will play Nos. 1 and 2, followed by Nos. 17 and 18.

The confirmed field includes McIlroy, who won the claret jug last year at Royal Liverpool. Champions celebrating anniversaries include Peter Thomson, who won the second of his five Open titles at St. Andrews in 1955, and Tom Watson, who won at Carnoustie in 1975 and is expected to make his final competitive appearance at the Open this summer. Twenty years after his lone Open triumph, John Daly is expected to participate, as is Tiger Woods, who won at St. Andrews in 2000 and again in 2005.

Every past Open champion is invited to participate in the event. Other players expected to participate include Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, David Duval and Louis Oosthuizen.

This marks the third time the event has been held at St. Andrews. It began in 2000 and was held again in 2005, but the event was cancelled in 2010, the last time the Open was held at the Old Course, because of bad weather.