8am Round-Up: Henrik Stenson sees Phil Mickelson’s Scottish Open concerns

Henrik Stenson spoke about the question of Scottish Open venues at his press conference for this week's event at Dundonald Links. Picture: Getty Images
Henrik Stenson spoke about the question of Scottish Open venues at his press conference for this week's event at Dundonald Links. Picture: Getty Images
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Henrik Stenson is glad that he’s not the person making decisions about future venues for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Since the event left Loch Lomond, it has been held at Castle Stuart, Royal Aberdeen, Gullane and now, for the first time this week, Dundonald Links.

A notable absentee on the Ayrshire coast is Phil Mickelson, one of the event’s most loyal supporters over the years and the winner at Castle Stuart in 2013.

The reason, apparently, is that the American didn’t want to have to “learn” another new course for the event, feeling that players have enough on their hands in that respect for The Open.

Asked about that before getting his event underway at Dundonald Links, Stenson said: “That’s a difficult one and everyone’s different in that aspect.

“I can see where he’s coming from out of a convenience standpoint and for me it’s the same - it’s more work learning a new golf course. It’s certainly easier to come back to one that you’ve played before.

“You don’t have to spend all that kind of time to learn new golf courses the week before you’re going to go and play a big championship, so I can see that point.

“At the same time, I’m sure while you’re here in Scotland, you want to move it around and give people a chance to come watch us play at different venues and different parts of Scotland.

“Luckily for me, I’m not the one deciding these matters.”

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England’s Trish Johnson completed a wire-to-wire victory at the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship in Indiana.

The former Solheim Cup star closed with a 73 at French Lick for a four-under 212 total, finishing three shots clear of American Michele Redman.

“I’m often asked what my favorite course in the world is and I always say St. Andrews, but I think this place has taken over,” said Johnson, who picked up $90,000, after recording her second success at the venue.

“It feels fantastic, this is the reason you play golf to try and win something like this.”

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Only the Scottish men’s side qualified for the top match-play flight in the various European Amateur Team Championships taking place this week.

Led by Open qualifier Connor Syme with rounds of 70-72, the Scottish men secured sixth spot at Diamond Country Club in Austria, where they are bidding for a title hat-trick.

Their opponents in today’s quarter-finals are Sweden, with England having swept into the match-play phase as the top seeds.

Elsewhere, it was a disappointing tale for the Scots, especially the boys’ side as they finished 14th out of 16 at La Manga in Spain.

The girls had to settle for the same lowly position at St Laurence Golf Club in Final while the women came up just one place short of making the top flight at Montado in Portugal.

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Calum Scott, the younger brother of Scottish Open qualifier Sandy, is halfway towards his own slice of golfing glory.

The 13-year-old from Nairn leads at the halfway stage in the Global Golf Post Sottish Boys Under-16s Open Championship after rounds of 67 and 71 over the Kittocks Course at Fairmont St Andrews.

Scott is three shots clear of compatriot Christian Barbour (St Andrews New), as well as England’s John Wilding and Jean Bekiran of France.

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All of the top 20 on the women’s world rakings are heading to Kingsbarns Links next month for the Ricoh Women’s British Open, it has been confirmed after entries for the event closed.

Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn will face the challenge of five former Ricoh Women’s British Open winners, 24 major champions and 22 Solheim Cup players with 78 appearances between them.

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American Ben Curtis, the 2003 winner, has withdrawn from next week’s 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

His place has gone to another American Tony Finau, with James Hahn now up to first reserve followed by Kiwi Danny Lee then US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk.

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Robert Arnott, who just missed out in the Scottish Open qualifier, leads at the halfway stage in the Grant’s Foods Scottish PGA Seniors Championship at Haggs Castle.

The Bishopbriggs Driving Range pro carded a brilliant seven-under-par 65 at the Glasgow course to sit three shots clear of Hayston’s Peter Kerr (Hayston) in a 26-man field.