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Hollywood A-listers hit the green ...

By Matthew Knight, CNN
October 5, 2011 -- Updated 1203 GMT (2003 HKT)
Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia take to world golf's oldest and arguably greatest stage as they practise on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland in preparation for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships. Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia take to world golf's oldest and arguably greatest stage as they practise on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland in preparation for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Golf stars mix with A-listers from film and sport at European Tour event in Scotland
  • Five out of six of world's top-ranked players playing in $5m Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
  • Michael Douglas paired with 2005 winner Colin Montgomerie, Rory McIlroy plays with father

London (CNN) -- Defending champion Martin Kaymer says that being back on The Old Course at St Andrews is "paradise," while Hugh Grant likens the opportunity to compete as "dying and going to golfing heaven."

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is a tournament like no other on the European Tour where the world's top golfers rub shoulders with acting and sporting legends in a four-day pro-am played over three Scottish links -- St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

Five of the six top ranked players in the world -- Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, America's Dustin Johnson and defending champion Kaymer -- will challenge for a share of the $5m prize pot.

This year, amateurs making a star turn include former Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, cricketer Shane Warne from Australia and Hollywood greats Andy Garcia and Michael Douglas.

Celebs compete on St. Andrews

"It does not get better than this. This is just a magical place and when we get a week like we are getting now, it's going to be great," Michael Douglas said.

Pros compete against each other in a traditional 72-hole strokeplay competition while also pairing off with an amateur to compete in a team event.

Former England cricketer Ian Botham will play alongside John Daly, while 2005 winner Colin Montgomerie will once again pair Michael Douglas, who returns to play in the event after his much-publicized illness.

I had my cancer bout so I used the Dunhill as a motivation to get my game together

"I had my cancer bout so I used the Dunhill as a motivation to get my game together. I am playing with Colin Montgomerie. I played with him back in 2005 when he actually won this event. One of my big treats was to be his partner," Douglas said.

Simon Dyson, the 2009 champion and recent winner of the Dutch Open will pair up with rock star Huey Lewis.

"Every time I play here, it haunts me. If you could get up at four or five in the morning and look west, you would see all the folds and ridges - its like nothing you could ever create. It's perfect," Lewis said.

Not all the star golfers are teaming up with A-listers. Many, including Martin Kaymer, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy, have chosen more familiar faces, to them at least, and will tee off with their fathers.

But the prize for most unexpected and welcome visitor of the week goes to...the sun. Players and spectators have been basking in unseasonably warm temperatures (so far) at an event where bobble hats and waterproofs are usually essential.

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