Former Masters champion Adam Scott is to play in the Scottish Open for the first time since 2009.
The Australian has confirmed he’ll be making his return to the Aberdeen Asset Management-sponsored event when it visits Dundonald Links in Ayrshire for the first time in July.
“I haven’t played a Scottish Open for a long while and I am looking forward to heading back to Dundonald, as I went over there about 10 years and just played the course for fun,” Scott told golfbytourmiss.com.
“The last few years I have spent the entire week playing The Open venue just getting myself acclimatised and getting used to playing links shots.
“I just can’t think of a better preparation and I find it amazing the R&A let us do that, so I take full advantage.
“But then this year, and with a second baby due in August, my schedule is a little different, so the thought of going over to play a few practice rounds at Birkdale and then playing the Scottish Open ahead of The Open sounds good to me
“And the good thing is that I will then head to Royal Birkdale and that’s a great track. I had a great experience playing there in the 2008 Open. I just played nicely without getting into contention.”
Scott finished fourth behind Germany’s Martin Kaymer in his last Scottish Open appearance at Loch Lomond, having claimed third spot at the same venue in 2001.
He will be aiming to join Wayne Riley (1995), Peter O’Malley (1992), Craig Parry (1991) and Graham Marsh (1973) as winners of the event.
Scottish players will be seeking both individual and team success in the African Amateur Championship, which gets underway at Leopard Creek today.
A total of eight players are flying the Saltire in the event, which marks the end of Scottish Golf’s now annual adventure in the Rainbow Nation for some of its leading male players.
A quartet comprising of Liam Johnston, Connor Syme, Craig Howie and Craig Ross are also on team duty in the first three rounds of the 72-hole event, defending that particular title against nine other sides.
Ross, who has recovered from the illness that cut short his South African Amateur Championship title defence at Humewood last week, finished joint-third 12 months ago, when home player Albert Venter stormed to a five-shot victory, helped by two 65s, at the same venue in Mpumalanga.
Venter joines forces with Kyle McClatchie, Aubrey Beckley and Marco Steyn in the top South African team while newly-crowned national champion Christo Lamprecht is in a junior side representing the host nation.
England are represented by Sean Towndrow, Josh Hilleard, James Walker and Dan Brown while France, with Dimitri Mary, Victor Veyret, Edgar Catherine and Pierre Pineau in their line-up, are other threats to a successful Scottish title defence.
David Law is hoping to secure back-to-back European Tour appearances through today’s qualifier for the Tshwane Open.
The Aberdonian made the cut in the Joburg Open last week after being among 15 players to progress from an 18-hole shoot-out last Wednesday.
Now Law is the sole Scot involved in a similar scramble at Irene Country Club as he bids to join Richie Ramsay, Marc Warren, David Drysdale, Scott Jamieson, Duncan Stewart and Scott Henry in Thursday’s opening round at Pretoria Country Club.
Graeme Storm is the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month for January after his fairytale BMW SA Open victory.
The 38-year-old Englishman beat Rory McIlroy in a play-off at Glendower, having lost his card a few month earlier before being handed an unexpected reprieve.
Storm said: “It’s a very big honour. The win in South Africa has been a great turning point in my career. I’ve continued to play well after it too and it’s nice to be back playing well again.”
The shoes Arnold Palmer worn when he won the 1958 Masters fetched $66,000 in an auction in Dallas.
The winning bid set a record for golf shoes and settling in at the No 6 highest-priced collectible game worn shoes of all time.
Falkirk’s Ryan Campbell is sitting joint-third after carding rounds of 72 and 71 for a one-under-par total in an Evolve Pro Tour event at Hacienda Riquelme in Spain.
Three-time European Tour winner Miguel Angel Martin sits seven shots clear of the field on nine-under (67-68) heading into the final round.
Aberdonian Clarke Lutton is sharing the lead after carding a five-under-par 67, which included him going out in 31, in the first round of a Gecko Tour event at Calanova on the Costa del Sol.
Lutton’s effort was matched by Dane Mads Vibe-Hastrup and Swiss player Jean Luc Burnier.