Amateurs mix with pros at St. Andrews

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Updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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It's a golf tournament where nobody really wants to know how the professionals are doing. That's because at the Dunhill championships in Scotland, there are amateurs like Boris Becker, Hugh Grant and Kapil Dev playing! On Thursday, it was time for them to show off their games and while the stance and the swing may not be perfect, they didn't do too badly in keeping up with their pro partners. The new Dunhill Links Championship - the richest golf event ever staged in Britain - got off to an inauspicious start on Thursday when fog held up play. British actor Hugh Grant was familiar with the conditions though. He said before the tournament that he hadn't ruled himself out for the next Ryder Cup and he matched that up with his game. And the amateurs clearly had put in a lot of practice. Boris Becker made a birdie on the 8th hole - it's not for nothing that you become a star at all of 17! Ernie Els, celebrating his 32nd birthday, had a good day in the office for him, with a share of the lead at seven-under-par 65. "If you told me I was going to shoot a 65 before I teed off, I would have said you were totally joking. I am really over the moon right now," said Els. England's Brian Davis also completed a 7-under-par 65. Kapil Dev, among the top amateur golfers in India right now, was however modest about his game. "It's nice to play with the pros and I hope we are ok. They have to match and walk with us. We are not the best players and play too many bad shots," admitted Dev. Nasser Hussain also matched up to Kapil - shooting a net score of 64. Disney Classic Five players were in the lead after the first round of the Disney classic in Florida on Thursday. Stewart Cink and Steve Lowery were among them with scores of 7 under par 65. Tiger Woods, playing his first tournament in five weeks, shot a three-under-par.

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