Kuchar to play at Gullane as tune-up for Claret Jug bid

2017 Open runner-up Matt Kuchar. Picture: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
2017 Open runner-up Matt Kuchar. Picture: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
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American Ryder Cup star Matt Kuchar has confirmed he will play in next month’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane.

The 39-year-old tied for fourth in last year’s tournament at Dundonald Links, which led to his best ever showing at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale the following week, where he finished as runner-up to compatriot Jordan Spieth.

This year the Scottish Open (12-15 July) again takes its traditional slot in the week before The Open at Carnoustie and Kuchar, pictured, believes teeing it up in East Lothian is the perfect preparation as he chases the Claret Jug and a first major.

The four-time Ryder Cup player, who has recorded 13 professional wins worldwide, said: 
“I have had a good run at the Scottish Open over the past few years. I think it is a great way to tune up for The Open.

“The Open is such different golf to what we play in the States, so it’s good for us to go over and get a week on links golf and have some tough competition. The Scottish Open has been at some fantastic golf courses and I’ve really enjoyed my last few years playing the tournament.”

The event is returning to Gullane for the first time since 2015, when Kuchar recorded his best finish to date in another American 1-2 alongside winner Rickie Fowler. He has played the Scottish Open seven times during his career, recording three top tens.

Kuchar said: “I had a go a few years ago and lost to Rickie Fowler. Then I had a nice finish last year as well, so I’ve been on a good couple of runs, and certainly my Open performances have been better for it.

“The fans over in Scotland are fantastic. I’ve always enjoyed my visits there, the golf courses are great, the fans are knowledgeable and they’re excited to see the best in the world play. I always look forward to a couple of weeks over there to play some good golf.”