Boxing hero Wladimir Klitschko will pack a punch when he returns to Courier Country for a rematch.
The Ukrainian, known as Dr Steelhammer, will play golf at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for the second year in succession.
He will join an impressive line-up of celebrities from the world of sport, music and entertainment who will play golf over the Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns from Thursday.
Klitschko proved incredibly popular with the crowds when he performed in the pro-am tournament and he’s looking forward to coming back.
“It’s fortunate I don’t play golf for a living, but St Andrews is the mecca of golf, and it’s an honour to play there with the pro’s,” he said.
The former world heavyweight champion lost his title to unfavoured South African Corrie Sanders in 2003 and believed taking up golf could hold the key to overcoming his defeat.
Sanders was a golfer and Klitschko wanted to understand why he was faster and hitting harder than his other opponents by deciding to “see what they see” and “sit where they sit.”
Klitschko will be joined by British actors Hugh Grant and Matthew Goode and US country music star Clay Walker, who have all confirmed they will play in the tournament.
Grant is fresh from his much admired performance as former UK Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe in ‘A Very English Scandal’, while Goode is currently involved in production of the film of Downton Abbey due to be released in 2019.
Goode said: “It’s that time of year again when I feel as I did when I played important matches for school.
“Utterly overjoyed to have been asked to come again to the Alfred Dunhill Links.
“The swing is in better shape than last year so hopefully the game will match the quality of this extraordinary week.”
With a prize fund of US$5 million, the Alfred Dunhill Links, which raises substantial funds for charity each year, incorporates two separate competitions – an individual professional tournament for the world’s leading golfers and the Team Championship, in which the pro’s are paired with amateur players, creating a unique atmosphere.
Sports stars taking part include Sir Steve Redgrave, making his 18th straight appearance, cricketers Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen and Shane Warne, and champion jockey Sir Tony (A.P.) McCoy and Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit.
They will be teaming up with a world-class field of professionals, led by defending champion Tyrrell Hatton who is bidding to become the first man to win the Alfred Dunhill Links trophy three straight times.
Boxer boasted 23 title defences
Retired in August 2017, at 41, Klitschko won 64 of his 69 fights and at various times held the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight championships.
He is the second longest serving champion of all time behind Joe Louis, with 23 title defences to Louis’s 25, including a nine-year period of 18 consecutive defences.
He also won the Olympic super-heavyweight gold medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta before he turned professional.