Golf superstar Rory McIlroy touches down at Dundee Airport ahead of local celebrity event

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Golf superstar Rory McIlroy flew into Dundee this week as he prepares to take part in a tournament in Tayside and north-east Fife.

The Northern Irishman, a former world number one, is one of several top players and A-list celebrities taking part in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this weekend.

The event takes place over four days at Carnoustie, St Andrews and Kingsbarns courses.

McIlroy flew in to Dundee Airport, which is being used as a base for many of those taking part or visiting the event.

A spokesman for Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL), which operates Dundee Airport, said about a dozen private jets had so far arrived ahead of the competition.

Private planes are also using Leuchars as a base.

The HIAL spokesman said that among those to have already arrived in Dundee on a private jet was multiple major winner McIlroy.

He added: “It’s likely we will be welcoming more of the rich and famous to the airport over the next few days.”

It’s expected there could be dozens of coming and goings every day at Dundee and Leuchars as players, media personnel and fans arrive in the region for the famous event.

Dundee Airport manager Derrick Lang said: “This year we have welcomed more than a dozen aircraft arriving for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which begins on Thursday.

“Dunhill guests and players have been using the airport since 2015 and we have seen some well-known names make their way through the airport this week. The Dunhill is a highlight of the golf calendar and a boost for local tourism. We are proud to play our part in making visitors welcome to this beautiful part of Scotland.”

Among the golfing stars taking to the links this weekend are Ernie Els, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie and reigning champion Tyrall Hatton.

Meanwhile, a host of celebrities will also take part in the pro-am including Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan, former Portugal footballer Luis Figo, boxer Wladimir Klitschko and singers Ronan Keating and Brian McFadden.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, which runs the Leuchars air base, said: “The MOD encourages civil use of military aerodromes and offers surplus capacity where appropriate.

“This is routine business in order to return best value for money for the taxpayer. The MOD can confirm that the Leuchars Diversion Airfield continues to accept business aviation in coordination with our contracted handlers.”