Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff has spoken of his love of playing golf in Courier Country.
Cruyff is returning to Tayside and Fife next month to compete for the 12th year at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Creator of the Cruyff turn, he won the European Cup in three successive seasons with Ajax and went on to lift the trophy as manager in 1992 when his Barcelona team beat Sampdoria at Wembley.
He won the Ballon d’Or for European footballer of the year three times, as well as best European footballer of the century.
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is played over three magnificent links courses the Old Course (St Andrews), the Championship Course, (Carnoustie) and Kingsbarns.
A passionate golfer, Cruyff is returning to Courier Country with one target. Having played 11 times, he would love to make the cut in the Team Championship.
He said: ”I don’t really have a favourite course of the three. It’s difficult, they are just different, I guess. When you tell people that you are going to come to St Andrews and play on the Old Course, they are jealous that’s the word for it. There is jealousy coming out.
”Then, at the same time, if you play Kingsbarns the views are so beautiful. It’s unbelievable. Then, after you’ve played these two, you have got to go to Carnoustie.
”It’s so difficult to play it and then there are all the things coming out from your memories after so many years. If you play the last hole, it’s difficult not to think about Jean van de Velde, when he took seven in 1999 to lose the Open. That’s the beautiful thing about sport.”
Cruyff said it would be a pity to pick out just one favourite moment of playing in the championship because there have been so many in the past 11 years. However, when push came to shove, the Dutch star chose a birdie which he sank on a par five at Hogan’s Alley at Carnoustie after reaching the green in two shots.
He recalled: ”With the length of the hole and the quality of the hole, it was very good for me I am 11 handicap. I missed the eagle, but I was very happy with the birdie. For me it was a net eagle. It’s a very good hole with out of bounds all down the left. I must say there was a lot of wind in my favour.”
Even if he does not make the cut, Cruyff will be staying around for Sunday’s final day once the tournament gets under way at the beginning of October.
He said: ”I hope every year (to make the cut), but I have got to be honest. After three days of practice and three days of competition, I am always exhausted.
”I may not make the cut, but I always stay for the Sunday. I just look forward to my three days of golf in this very special event.”