Rock singer admits he was more terrified playing Old Course than Live 8

© PA
Tom Chaplin performing with Keane.

Keane frontman Tom Chaplin has told how he was more frightened about teeing off at St Andrews than playing to 200,000 fans at Live 8.

Chaplin – now a respected solo artist – will be performing on a different stage this week when he plays for the second time as an amateur in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

He said: “Nothing is worse than the nerves on a golf tee in front of a big crowd.

“Wembley, Live 8, arena tours – I’ve done all of that with my music and I’ve never felt as frightened as when I teed up on the first at St Andrews.

“As I stood over my shot, the ball just seemed like it was absolutely miles away.”

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 to Sunday.

With a prize fund of $5 million, it incorporates two separate competitions – an individual tournament for the leading professionals and a team championship in which the professionals are paired with amateur golfers.

Chaplin will be joined on the links by Mike Rutherford from Genesis, Dave Farrell of Linkin Park, Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres, rocker Huey Lewis, Boyzone singer Ronan Keating and Westlife’s Brian McFadden.

Three sporting knights Sir Ian Botham, Sir AP McCoy and Sir Steve Redgrave head up the sports stars, including boxing’s Wladimir Klitschko, rugby’s Fourie du Preez, Rob Louw, Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll, footballers Luis Figo and Jamie Redknapp, and cricketers Shane Warne, Kevin Pietersen, Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Mark Nicholas.

Chaplin said: “It’s a beautiful part of the world then there’s the event itself, impeccably laid on; a cracking format for us starry-eyed amateurs on three of the greatest golf courses in the world.

“I take my clubs on tour with me – particularly to America. Often I’ll just phone up a local course and see if I can tag along with someone else.

“They’re pretty amenable to that in the States. I’ve met some great people over the years.”

Chaplin said the best approach is to attack.

He said: “Given that your pro is more than likely to make par or better, the best thing for the team is just to go for broke.

“I’m quite long, so I’m going to just try and pump some drives down there and make birdies.”

Chaplin described the Old Course, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns as “all wonderful and all quite different from each other”.