The second Paul Lawrie Match Play takes place at Archerfield Links in North Berwick as the tour moves away from its usual stroke play format

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Wood and Fitzpatrick Headline Paul Lawrie Match Play

The European Tour returns to Scotland this week for the Paul Lawrie Match Play on the Fidra course at Archerfield Links in North Berwick.

The inaugural tournament in 2015 won by Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who beat Robert Karlsson 1 up in the final.

The Thai is not in the field this year so we will see a new champion crowned.

Paul Lawrie Match Play

Kiradech Aphibarnrat with the trophy last year. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

This year’s event will once again see 64 players competing, with BMW PGA Champion Chris Wood and Nordea Masters winner Matt Fitzpatrick headlining.

Both are in the frame for the European Ryder Cup team and a strong performance here, in a matchplay format, will all-but secure them a seat on the plane to Hazeltine.

Scottish Open winner Alex Noren is also in the field.

There are plenty of chances for a home win, with Paul Lawrie, Marc Warren, Richie Ramsay, Stephen Gallacher, Craig Lee, Scott Jamieson and David Drysdale all competing.

The course at Archerfield will make for beautiful viewing as it winds its way through pine trees and then into more linksy ground.

Paul Lawrie match play

The Fidra Links at Archerfield GC

7 – Top 50 UK & Ireland Stay and Play Archerfield

Tickets for this year’s event are priced as low as £15 and they will also gain you entry to the Scottish Senior Open.

Venue: Fidra Course, Archerfield Links, North Berwick, Scotland
Date: Aug 4 – Aug 7
Course stats: Par 72, 6978 yards
Purse: €1,000,000
Defending Champion: Kiradech Aphibarnrat

TV Coverage:

Thursday: Sky Sports 4 HD from 12.30pm
Friday: Sky Sports 4 HD from 12pm
Saturday: Sky Sports 4 HD from 11pm
Sunday: Sky Sports 4 HD from 10.30am

Strokeplay vs Matchplay: Which is the better competitive format?

The format:

Straight-up knockout match play. 64 men, no groupings.

Day 1: First round
Day 2: Second round
Day 3: Last 16 and quarter finals
Day 4: Semi finals and final + consolation match

Player watch:

Chris Wood – At 25 in the world and having won the European Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth in May, Wood is the favourite. The Bristolian reached the quarter finals last year, going out to David Howell.

Matt Fitzpatrick – The Nordea Masters winner is the second-highest ranked player in the field. Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur 2013 in a similar matchplay format so he has to be considered one of the favourites this week.

David Howell – Howell finished 3rd last year, beating Marc Warren in the consolation match after going out to Robert Karlsson on the 20th hole in the semi-final. Having caught up with him after the Open, he’s very positive about where his game is at right now.

Key Hole: 12th. It’s a short risk and reward par 4 where they may move the tee up to encourage people to go for the green. However, if you miss the green there are sandy waste areas all around and long grass so it has do-or-die potential. It also comes at a key part of the round where a player could get the match back to all square or see his opponent drift away from him.