The European Tour travels to the beautiful shoreline of Loch Lomond this week for the Barclays Scottish Open. A dazzling array of stars will tee it up on the “bonnie banks.”
It will be the 15th time the stunning Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish designed layout will play host to the Scottish Open and the event has, once again, attracted many of the world’s best players.
World Number two Phil Mickelson is the highest ranked player in the field and the American could claim the number one slot from Tiger Woods if he wins or finishes outright second in the event.
“Everything about the tournament, from the sponsors, to the golf course and the stunning setting at Loch Lomond is as good as it gets in golf.”
US Open champion Graeme McDowell makes his first competitive outing since his success at Pebble Beach and he’ll be looking to continue his amazing run of form at a course where he tasted victory back in 2008.
2009 champion Martin Kaymer will be aiming to become the first player to win the tournament in consecutive seasons. He came close in Paris last week and is determined to defend his title. “To win in Scotland last year was very special,” he said. “I will try my hardest to win again.”
Other European players competing this week include – French Open champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, Gregory Havret, Ross Fisher, Rhys Davies, Alvaro Quiros, Edoardo and Francesco Molinari.
Ernie Els was a late entry into the field and he joins a host of international stars on the start sheet. Colombia’s Camilo Villegas, Vijay Singh of Fiji, Y.E. Yang from Korea, Robert Allenby of Australia and Japanese teenage sensation Ryo Ishikawa will all entertain the keen Scottish fans.
Venue: Loch Lomond Golf Club, Scotland
Date: Jul 8-11
Course stats: par 71, 7,149 yards
Purse: £3,000,000 Winner: £500,000
Defending Champion: Martin Kaymer (-15)
Thursday 8 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10.30am
Friday 2 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10.30am
Saturday 3 – Live on BBC 2 from 1pm
Sunday 4 – Live on BBC 2 from 1.30pm
Ross Fisher – The Englishman is showing signs of a return to form and this course should be suited to his game. He finished in a tie for eighth here last year.
Martin Laird – Probably the best Scottish hope, Laird secured a top-10 in the event last season and will be keen to improve on that this time round.
Graeme McDowell – He’ll still be on a massive high after his US Open triumph. He’s a former winner of this event and will be looking to make it three victories in three starts after wins in Wales and California.
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 a water hazard waits short and left. If they choose to lay-up the tee shot must travel far enough to not be hampered by the large tree on the corner of the dog-leg.
Skills required: Approach play. The fairways are relatively generous but the green complexes are challenging with some tricky run-off areas. To score well, precise iron play is a must.