Russell Knox sets sights on ASI Scottish Open victory

Russell Knox is looking forward to playing in front of the home galleries in this year's Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Russell Knox is looking forward to playing in front of the home galleries in this year's Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Russell Knox is among three Rolex Series winners in 2018 to make an early commitment to this year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

Joining the home favourite in adding the event’s first visit to The Renaissance Club in July on their schedules are Brandon Stone and Lee Westwood.

South African Brandon Stone will be defending the title in East Lothian after winning last year's event ay Gullane. Picture: Ian Rutherford

South African Brandon Stone will be defending the title in East Lothian after winning last year's event ay Gullane. Picture: Ian Rutherford

All three secured maiden Rolex Series victories last season, with Knox landing the Dubai Duty Irish Open after beating Kiwi Ryan Fox in a play-off at Ballyliffin.

Commenting on what will be a sixth consecutive appearance in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, Knox said: “It’s always a pleasure to play in front of your home crowd, the extra energy the Scottish fans give you is fantastic.

“The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open is always one of my favourite weeks of the year.

“After winning a WGC and a Rolex Series event, you could say that I thrive in those high-pressure situations, and of course I would love to replicate that in Scotland.”

Lee Westwood is the third of the 2018 Rolex Series winners to make an early commitment to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open. Picture: Brian Spurlock

Lee Westwood is the third of the 2018 Rolex Series winners to make an early commitment to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open. Picture: Brian Spurlock

Stone will be heading back to East Lothian as the defending champion after closing with a sensational 60 to secure the title at Gullane last summer.

“The Sunday of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open was an incredible day, and I’m looking forward to returning just a few miles along the coast to The Renaissance Club to defend my title,” said the South African.

“I holed some beautiful putts, and of course it would have been great to sink that one on the last for a bit of history, but no matter what I was very proud to get my hands on that prestigious trophy and seal my first Rolex Series win too. I can’t wait to start my defence in July.”

Westwood’s 2018 Rolex Series win came in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa and was sealed by a closing 64.

“I always enjoy coming back to Scotland. It’s a tournament that I’ve won (in 1998 at Loch Lomond) before and right now the game feels like it’s in a good place so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

* The 2019 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open takes place on 11-14 July and fans can buy tickets to see some of the world’s best golfers at www.asiscottishopen.com