The European Tour returns to Scotland this week for the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play at Murcar Links Golf Club in Aberdeen.

Lowdown:
The European Tour returns to Scotland this week for the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play at Murcar Links Golf Club in Aberdeen.

This event was the brainchild of 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie. He saw an opportunity to host a match play event in his home city of Aberdeen and he, with the assistance of Saltire Energy, has made it happen. 64 of the European Tour’s top players will battle it out in straight match play for a prize fund of €1 million.

Paul Lawrie swing sequence:

Some big name players have added this event to their schedule, including two-time Major champion John Daly.

“I am really excited to be playing Paul’s inaugural European Tour event. I love match play and it is a format of the game that we do not get to play enough of on tour,” said Daly. “I really appreciate Paul having me in his tournament. I am looking forward to a week in Aberdeen and hopefully playing really well in front of all the fans.”

Other star players set to tee it up at Murcar Links include: Chris Wood, Richie Ramsay, Alexander Levy, Robert Karlsson and David Howell.

The course at Murcar delivers a great test of links golf. Featuring gorse and deep rough, long carries and sloping greens, the holes climb, fall and twist amongst the dunes. There are plenty of birdie opportunities though so the fans should witness some exciting golf.

The weather forecast for the week suggests the conditions will be mixed – there might be some rain and the wind looks set to pick up on the weekend and that should test the players’ ability to control ball flight.

Venue: Murcar Links Golf Club, Aberdeen, Scotland
Date: Jul 30 – Aug 2
Course stats: par 71, 6,409 yards
Purse: €1,000,000
Defending Champion: Inaugural Event

TV Coverage:
Thursday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 12.30pm
Friday 31 – Sky Sports 4 from 2pm
Saturday 1 – Sky Sports 4 from 11am
Sunday 2 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am

Player watch:
Chris Wood – Winner of the recent Lyoness Open, Wood is on good form. He has a decent record on links courses and will be up for the fight this week.

Richie Ramsay – A local lad, Ramsay will be keen to perform well in front of the home fans. He’s another man who has a good game for the links and he comes into the tournament on the back of a top-10 finish in Switzerland.

Tyrell Hatton – The Englishman is enjoying an excellent season and he was third in last week’s European Masters. Last time the European Tour was in Aberdeen, for last year’s Scottish Open, Hatton finished fourth.

Key Hole: 14th. It’s a reachable par-5, but one where danger lurks left and right. Gorse skirts the whole left hand side and pot bunkers wait at driving distance. Out of bounds waits down the right hand side and is a real threat with the second shot.