Martin Dempster: Why Genesis Scottish Open could make history in July

History could be beckoning in this year’s Genesis Scottish Open, with a strong possibility that all four current major champions will be teeing up at The Renaissance Club.

It’s already a ‘yes’ for three of them for the $8 million Rolex Series event in July as Open champion Collin Morikawa, Masters winner Scottie Scheffler and newly-crowned PGA champion Justin Thomas have all confirmed their participation.

That just leaves the US Open to complete the set and there’s a good chance that the winner of that event at Brookline next month will also be heading for East Lothian.

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If so, it will almost certainly be the first time that all four major champions have teed up together in a regular DP World Tour event and what a feather in the cap that would be for the Scottish Open.

World No 1 and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler in action during last year's Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

In fairness, helped, of course, by its prized pre-Open slot, it has attracted big names for the past 30-odd years and the Scottish fans, to their credit, have always been appreciative of that.

There can be no denying, though, that the event’s status has definitely been elevated this year through it being on the PGA Tour schedule as well for the first time.

Jon Rahm, the current US Open champion, is another of the big names to have committed to being there, as has three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, who will be making his debut.

As thing stands, four of the world’s top 10 are set to be there and it’s likely that others will be added to that mouth-watering list over the coming few weeks.

It’s unlikely that Rory McIlroy will be making an appearance on this occasion while Viktor Hovland indicated earlier in the year that he’d probably be making a visit home to Norway that week before teeing up in the 150th Open at St Andrews.

But it wouldn’t be a surprise if the likes of OIympic champion Xander Schauffele, PGA Championship runner-up Will Zalatoris and 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau join that star-studded cast.

With the field being split equally between DP World Tour and PGA Tour players on this occasion, there is one downside to the new set up, namely there won’t be as many Scots in the field than in the past.

On the strength of his top-10 finish in last season’s Race to Dubai, Bob MacIntyre will be spearheading the home challenge, while Stephen Gallacher, Grant Forrest, Calum Hill and Ewen Ferguson should also secure spots as DP World Tour winners over the past few seasons.

There’s also a possibility of Russell Knox and Martin Laird being part of the PGA Tour allocation, but, for the likes of recent British Masters top-three finishers Richie Ramsay and Connor Syme, the chances are looking slim.

The same goes for Scott Jamieson despite his good form this season, as well as David Law, David Drysdale, Marc Warren and Craig Howie, while three spots are no longer up for grabs in a qualifier.

Personally, I feel the DP World Tour needs to tread carefully in getting the balance right when it comes to a home representation, especially when you are talking about the Scottish Open.

Yes, fans will be excited to see those major winners in action, especially if they’ve missed out in the ballot for Open tickets, but, at the same time, they just love watching home talent and that aspect should never be under-estimated.

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