Rickie Fowler has handed this year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open its biggest boost yet by confirming he’s returning to Gullane, scene of the American’s victory in the event.
The world No.7 is relishing being back at the East Lothian venue, where he produced a brilliant shot at the last hole in 2015 to finish a stroke ahead of compatriot Matt Kuchar and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin.
“Gullane is a special place for me and I can’t wait to get back there for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open this summer,” said Fowler as he joined Kuchar, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson in committing to the July 12-15 event.
“I love links golf – the golf course can play so differently each day and it’s always such an interesting challenge. Gullane was a very good test back in 2015.”
In the event’s first staging on Scotland’s Golf Coast, Fowler bogeyed the 14th before responding in style with with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th to seal a memorable victory.
“I had played the last four holes well all week, so I knew that I had some birdies in me after dropping a shot at the 14th on Sunday, and it turned out to be a perfect finish,” he added.
It had been feared that Fowler might miss the event’s return to Gullane after it was reported last week that US captain Jim Furyk was planning a Ryder Cup get-together in Paris on the weekend of the Scottish Open.
But the colourful Californian is heading straight to Scotland instead of France and aims to use the event to give himself the best possible chance in the Open Championship at Carnoustie the following week.
Six out of the last eight players to lift the Claret Jug have played in the Scottish Open the previous week.
“The Scottish Open is a great week, and the Scottish fans are always so knowledgeable and appreciative, but it’s also good preparation for The Open,” said the 29-year-old, a three time runner-up in majors, including this year’s Masters.
“You often see guys who have played in the Scottish Open doing well the following week, so I’m looking forward to two good weeks on the links in July.”
• Fans can buy tickets from just £15 to see some of the world’s best golfers – including official Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open hospitality packages, at www.asiscottishopen.com