Scottish Open winner to get World Match Play spot

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady and Volvo's Per Ericsson . Picture: Getty
European Tour chief executive George O'Grady and Volvo's Per Ericsson . Picture: Getty
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THIS year’s Scottish Open winner will receive one of the coveted spots in the Volvo World Match Play Championship when it returns to Britain after a seven-year absence.

The event’s 25th staging will take place at the London Club, where European No 1 Henrik Stenson and defending champion Graeme McDowell have already committed to take part.

Of the 14 other spots up for grabs at the Kent venue from 15-19 October, the one on offer at Royal Aberdeen is the only one from a regular European Tour event other than the Volvo China Open.

It creates added spice for the Scottish Open’s first-ever staging in the Granite City, where a star-studded field is set to include defending champion Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and, almost certainly, both McDowell and Stenson.

In an event that featured both Stephen Gallacher and Scott Jamieson, McDowell beat Thongchai Jaidee in last year’s final at Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria, the event having been held in three of the four years prior to that at Finca Cortesin in Spain.

“I think it is fantastic that the Volvo World Match Play Championship will be played in England for this special anniversary,” said McDowell of an event held at Wentworth until 2007. “I enjoyed everything about my victory last year. It seems right, though, to celebrate the event’s anniversary in England, where the tournament was held for so many years.”

Instead of the Heritage Course, which staged the European Open in both 2008 and 2009, this event will be played on the International Course. “I have heard it is a great track and I think it will make for a fantastic venue,” added McDowell. “

In addition to McDowell and Stenson, South African Louis Oosthuizen is the only other player eligible at present as winner of the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban last month.