The two-time major winner will tee it up alongside defending champion Phil Mickelson at Royal Aberdeen from July 10-13 after being inspired by the left-hander’s success at Castle Stuart last year and victory in the Open Championship the following week.
“Phil winning the double last year made me realise that the Scottish Open is more than good preparation for The Open – he showed it was possible to win both weeks,” said McIlroy, who has made a strong start to 2014 after a largely forgettable season last year. “The Scottish Open going back to a traditional links course was something that made a lot of sense”
“You can play as much golf on links courses as you want, but until that’s in a competitive environment you can never tell how ready your game will be. It really is so important, then, to get some competitive golf on a true, challenging links.”
“I can think of no better preparation for the Open, especially on a respected course like Royal Aberdeen” – Rory McIlroy
McIlroy’s previous appearances in the tournament both came at Loch Lomond, in 2008 and 2009. In recent years, he has preferred to take two weeks off prior to the majors, which has resulted in him missing the Scottish Open. However, a change of strategy means it is back on his schedule this year as it prepares to visit Royal Aberdeen for the first time.
“I can think of no better preparation for the Open, especially on a respected course like Royal Aberdeen,” added McIlroy. “There will also be so many similarities I can bring to the following week’s Open Championship. It’ll be my first time playing Royal Aberdeen, too. I believe it’s a great links with lots of golfing history. I’m really looking forward to the challenge it’ll present.”
McIlroy and Mickelson are expected to be joined at Royal Aberdeen by many more of the game’s leading names, with Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, and Graeme McDowell also thought to be close to confirming their participation.