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Dunhill Links: Championship’s return a welcome return to normality for Scott Jamieson

Jamieson often had to take three or four flights to get from Florida to European Tour events.

Scott Jamieson is embracing the slow return to normality as he returns to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after two years of difficulty with Covid-19.

The Scot has found playing the Tour to be an endless trail of connecting flights and red tape as he tries to maintain a transatlantic lifestyle, living with his fie and family in Florida while playing a full schedule.

But the welcome return of the ADLC for the 20th anniversary edition after a year’s break because of the pandemic is a welcome and reassuring sight, especially to the Scots contingent who traditionally do well in the $5 million plus event.

‘What an incredible commitment’

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship returns on Thursday.

The influence of Dunhill chairman Johann Rupert in this event and his generosity to Scottish amateur golf can’t be underestimated, adds Jamieson.

“Dunhill have always given such phenomenal support,” said Jamieson. “Not just here but the tournament down in South Africa which is one of my favourites, at Leopard Creek.

“There’s what Mr Rupert does for Scottish golf as well. What an incredible commitment and we can’t thank him enough.

“For a lot of us, obviously, a solid week here would take care of the big question of shoring things up for next year. That’s always a goal and it’s a massive tournament in its own right. I’m looking for a good week ahead.”

‘I don’t want to know how many miles’

Jamieson adds that he’s relishing the end of the US travel ban at the end of the month which will at least make his personal schedule a little easier to work out.

“I don’t want to know how many miles I’ve covered,” he said. “There’s just not enough flights right now, no direct flights from the US to Scotland.

“At the moment it’s Jacksonville to Charlotte to London to here. One flight was delayed and I missed a connection this time.

“The last couple of months have felt normal and calmer from scheduling point of view.  It was harder because of tournaments changing late on.

“In hindsight I probably made a few mistakes, travelling for one week here and there and only going home for a week. But there was so much uncertainty about tournaments going on and doubts here and there.”

Converted from the ‘Gers to the Gators

He wouldn’t swap his Florida lifestyle though, and this lifelong Rangers fan has been fully converted as a follower of the University of Florida Gators American Football team, in Gainesville near his home.

Nearly 90,000 spectators fill “The Swamp” – officially known as Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – for their home games.

“It’s fun, it’s a good place to go,” he said. “My wife’s grandfather was a big booster – a fund-raiser – for the University. We have some exceptionally nice seats, which is good.

“It’s very different to going to Ibrox. For one, I don’t understand the rules! It does get very loud but it’s just different. It’s really loud and there’s passion, but it’s not quite the same.”

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