The day Hugh Grant ran out of jokes as Howell won

David Howell, 2013 Alfred Dunhill Links champion, will be back next month at St Andrews to try to emulate Padraig Harrington, the only two-time winner of the event.

Also playing will be popular actor and film producer Hugh Grant, who has partnered Howell many times over the years in the Team Championship.

In fact Hugh claims some of the credit for Howell’s victory three years ago. He recalls: “We were always the worst team until one bizarre year he decided to win the whole tournament.

“I remember standing on the 18th tee with him and he was about to win whatever the first prize is, half a million quid? He hadn’t won for years and years and ‘Howler’, all the way down the final holes, had been saying ‘just keep telling me dirty stories to relax me’.

“And here I dried up. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I’d known him for years and years and was asking questions down the 18th like ‘how are your children?’ And he won it.”