Lowdown:
On the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond many of the World’s greatest players will congregate to compete for the prestigious Scottish Open. Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell defends a title that’s been won over the years by players like Colin Montgomerie, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els.
The course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish is widely considered to be one of the finest inland layouts in the UK and there can be few courses in the world in such a spectacular setting.
It’s the 14th time the Scottish Open has been staged at Loch Lomond and a superb field will assemble to battle for the title. There are no less than 10 former Major champions on the start sheet including 2009 Masters winner Angel Cabrera. He’s joined by Sir Nick Faldo, Michael Campbell, John Daly, the South African duo of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle, Spain’s José Maria Olazábal and Geoff Ogilvy of Australia. The illustrious group can boast 22 Major titles between them.

Venue: Loch Lomond Golf Club, Luss, Scotland
Course stats: par 71, 7,149 yards
Purse: €3,490,000, Winner: €579,340
Defending Champion: Graeme McDowell (-13)

TV coverage:
Thursday 9 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 10am
Friday 10 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 10am
Saturday 11 – Live on BBC 2 from 2.15pm
Sunday 12 – Live BBC 2 from 2pm

Player Watch:
Martin Kaymer – Fresh off a big win at the Open de France, the young German is clearly on excellent form. When he’s firing on all cylinders there are few better.
Camilo Villegas – It’s the first time the flamboyant Colombian has played at Loch Lomond but he has a game that should be suited to the layout. Look for him to hit some long drives and towering approaches to the receptive greens.
Ross Fisher – He’s another player striking the ball brilliantly from tee to green. If he can get the putter working he’ll be right up there this week.

Key hole: 14th. A classic “risk and reward” par-4, if the tee is moved slightly forward it’s eminently driveable for most of the field. But waiting short and left is a pond. If you choose to lay-up you must get your tee shot far enough to not be hampered by the large tree on the corner of the dog-leg.

Skills required: Approach shots. The green complexes here have always demanded accuracy on both line and distance to find the correct part of the putting surfaces. New run-off areas on the 12th and 13th holes will only add to the difficulty.

Where next?

FREE DVD: The Etiquette of Golf courtesy of The R&A
Equipment review: Wilson Staff 8876 putter review
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Amateur news: Matteo Manassero wins 2009 Amateur Championship at Formby
Competitions: Once-in-a-lifetime prizes