Denzel Ieremia – gets a rare chance – file photo PGA of Australia

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews has long provided an opportunity for Australasian golfers without European Tour status to play one of the most popular and lucrative events on that tour.

One of the entry criteria for the event is based on the leading ten players from the top 30 of money lists from the Australasian, Sunshine (South Africa) and Asian Tours.

Players such as Dimi Papadatos, Travis Smyth, Brett Rankin and New Zealander, Denzel Ieremia, therefore, get the chance to join more regular European Tour players such as Min Woo Lee, Scott Hend, Jason Scrivener, Ryan Fox, Maverick Antcliff, Bryden Macpherson, Josh Geary and Deyen Lawson in a 12 man Australasian line-up in the US$5 million event.

The pro-am format for the 72 hole event, a concept proving hugely popular in events on the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours and the New Zealand Open in our region, utilises multiple golf courses over the opening three rounds, allowing for a larger than normal field and opening the door for a field with wider diversity than a typical European Tour event.

The tournament proves popular with not only those without status on the European Tour but also for many of the leading European Tour, even players such as two time winner, Tyrrell Hatton and Shane Lowry, who just a few days ago battled it out over Whistling Straits in their forlorn battle against the Americans.

The timing of the event in 2021 so close to a draining week in Wisconsin has perhaps precluded an even stronger field but given that it is played over three outstanding courses in the St Andrews area (St Andrews Old, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns) the tournament attracts a lot of interest from players and golf fans worldwide.

Ieremia is one player who will warrant attention. He has not played a world ranking tour event since March of 2020 but in late 2019 he displayed an indication of his considerable talent when recorded top ten finishes in the NSW Open and the Australian Open and PGA Championships.

The Waikato (New Zealand) raised Iowa State University graduate is a significant talent and his showing this week will be of interest to many.

An Australasian has yet to win the event but the likes of Min Woo Lee, Jason Scrivener and Maverick Antcliff have played well in 2021 and this might be an opportunity to grab a share of the significant prizemoney on offer.