Patrick Reed and Jason Dufner in Scottish Open field

The strongest field of the season on the European Tour is heading to Dundonald Links in a fortnight's time for the first staging of the $7 million (£5.5m) Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at the Ayrshire venue.

Patrick Reed will make his second Scottish Open appearance next month. Picture: Getty.
Patrick Reed will make his second Scottish Open appearance next month. Picture: Getty.

American Ryder Cup talisman Patrick Reed and former US PGA champion Jason Dufner are the latest additions to a star-studded line-up, joining the likes of Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler.

According to the official entry list, four of the world’s top ten and 17 in the top 50 will be teeing up in the Rolex Series event, meaning it will boast the best field of the year on the European circuit.

The BMW PGA Championship, the opening Rolex Series event, had two top-ten players and 15 in the top 50 in the line-up at Wentworth earlier in the season, while the Scottish Open also eclipses the next two events on that list in terms of strength.

Two top-ten players and 12 in the top 50 are in this week’s French Open at Le Golf National, venue for next year’s Ryder Cup, while the Irish Open has two top-ten players and 11 in the top 50 for its field at Portstewart next week.

It had been feared that the Irish Open, which is hosted
by McIlroy, moving to the slot immediately before the Scottish Open might have an adverse effect on the Dundonald Links event, but that has certainly not proved to be the case.

Having added the tournament to his own schedule, world No 3 McIlroy will also be headlining in Ayrshire, where last year’s Open champion Stenson, title holder Noren and 2015 Scottish Open winner
Fowler are the other top-ten players on the entry list.

That also includes former Masters champion Adam Scott, who is making his first appearance in the event since 2009, with Matt Kuchar, Reed and Englishman Tyrrell Hatton taking the number of 
top-20 players to eight.

The next wave is just as impressive, headed by US Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood and also including
Bernd Wiesberger, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Branden Grace, Dufner, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Knox, Emiliano Grillo and Ross Fisher.

Reed, who picked up three-and-a-half points out of five in last year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, where he beat McIlroy in an epic singles contest in helping the Americans record a first win in the event since 2008, is set to make his second Scottish Open appearance. He closed with a pair of 67s to 
finish tenth behind Noren at Castle Stuart last July.

Dufner, who claimed the US PGA Championship in 2013 and returned to winning ways in The Memorial, Jack Nicklaus’ event at Muirfield Village in Ohio last month, will be making his debut in the event.

Five of the last six Open champions used the Scottish Open to prepare for the season’s third major, Stenson having joined Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and McIlroy as he picked up the Claret Jug at Royal Troon, a week after sharpening up his links game at Castle Stuart.

Knox heads eight Scots currently in the Dundonald Links line-up, the others being Richie Ramsay, Marc Warren, David Drysdale, Scott Jamieson, Paul Lawrie, Stephen Gallacher and Martin Laird, who has secured an invitation.