Scottish Open organisers insist next month’s event at Castle Stuart still has a “superstar” in the field despite Rickie Fowler confirming he will not be defending his title.
As had been feared, world No 5 Fowler is skipping the 7-10 July event due to golf’s summer schedule becoming squeezed this year as a result of the Olympics being added to it as the sport returns to the Games in Brazil for the first time since 1904.
Fowler, who was a popular winner at Gullane last July, where he produced a stunning approach at the 72nd hole to beat fellow American Matt Kuchar by a shot, has contacted the sponsors and organisers personally to say how sorry he is he can’t defend the coveted crown.
“Rickie is very disappointed that he can’t play,” revealed Peter Adam, the championship director, at a gloriously sunny Castle Stuart yesterday. “Obviously everybody is disappointed, but we are very, very hopeful he will come back at another time.”
One player who had the Scottish Open’s return to Castle Stuart for the first time time since 2013 marked down early on his schedule for this year was Phil Mickelson.
The five-times major winner played at the