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Chance for amateurs to play in Dunhill Links

Bidding has opened in an international, online auction for a place in this year's dunhill links championship. Amateur golfers from all over the world are being offered the chance of a lifetime to play in the same tournament as top professionals and amateurs from the world of sport and entertainment in this year's web auction.

This year's dunhill links championship takes place from October 7-10 over the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and the highly regarded Kingsbarns Golf Links. The on-line auction offers amateur golfers throughout the world a rare opportunity to play in this prestigious tournament. The winning bidder will be treated to the very best of dunhill's world famous hospitality. The package includes one amateur spot in the 2004 dunhill links championship, five nights accommodation at a tournament hotel (breakfast included) and invitations to the championship's exclusive social events as honoured guests.

The auction runs until midday on Friday, September 24. Online auctioneers QXL.com are hosting the proceedings. Bids can be made by visiting www.qxl.com/dunhilllinks or the dunhill links championship site at www.dunhilllinks.com. Andrea Eniks, QXL.com UK Site Manager commented "www.QXL.com is a trading platform, which enables individuals and small businesses to buy and sell all types of products and services online in an easy, efficient and safe environment. It is also a place where members have a good time, place bids and get involved with the site through our forums."

The event, which raised over £8000 pounds last year, is in aid of the St Andrews-based Pilgrim Foundation, an organisation committed the restoration of historic monuments and buildings in the Home of Golf. The Foundation's patrons include Sir Sean Connery, Colin Montgomerie, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Arnold Palmer, Sam Torrance, Tony Jacklin and TV commentator Peter Alliss.

Last year's dunhill links championship was won by England's Lee Westwood. The 2003 field also included Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Nick Price, Colin Montgomerie and US PGA champion Shaun Micheel. The line-up this year is expected to be one of the strongest on the European Tour.

Amateurs will once again be sharing centre stage with the professionals and among those who played last year were Samuel L Jackson, Jodie Kidd, Hugh Grant, Ian Botham and Sir Bobby Charlton. There was an emotional moment which delighted the Scottish golf fans when former European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance playing with his 15-year-old son Daniel won the team competition.

Golfing history was also made when England's Brian Davis put himself in the record books with a 10-under-par 62 over the Old Course, a round which included an eagle two on the 314-yard 12th and eight birdies. It broke by one the previous record held by Paul Lawrie and Colin Montgomerie.

Admission to the dunhill links championship will once again be FREE on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A ticket price of £15 (concessionary £8) will be charged for the final day's play over the Old Course on Sunday, October 10. Under 16's and students are FREE. Tickets are available through the ticket hotline on 0870 010 9021 or at the entrance gates. Parking is free for spectators, and a free shuttle bus service will be in operation between courses.

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