• Trio join Mickelson, McDowell and Stenson as high-profile names
• Field could be weaker this year due to golf's Olympic return
SCOTTISH OPEN | LEE WESTWOOD
Former world No.1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald and European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke have become the latest players to add their names to the Scottish Open field.
Taking place at Castle Stuart, the trio join Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson as the big names to have already confirmed for the tournament which takes place on the Highland links from July 7-10.
The latest announcement is a boost to the tournament, which looks to have suffered due to the cramped schedule as a result of golf’s return to the Olympics. World No.3 Rory McIlroy has said he won’t be there, while defending champion Rickie Fowler has yet to commit.
And speaking at Archerfield Links yesterday to promote the Paul Lawrie Match Play, 1999 Open champion Lawrie admitted it was unfortunate the Olympics was having a negative effect on the Scottish Open field.
“I read something the other day which said that of all the tournaments, that’s the one that players are looking like missing because of the way the schedule is,” he said. “It’s a pity the Olympics has caused the field to be a bit weaker than what it would’ve been – but I’m sure it’ll still be mega strong and Castle Stuart is just magnificent.”
Read more -> Castle Stuart toughens up for Scottish Open
As well as aiding preparations for the Open, Northern Irishman Clarke will also use the opportunity to run the rule over several Ryder Cup contenders, with Donald, Jamie Donaldson, Russell Knox, McDowell, Stenson and Westwood all hopeful of making Europe’s line-up at Hazeltine in September.
“The Scottish people are so passionate about golf and the tournament always attracts a very strong field, so I’d love to add the Scottish Open to my CV,” he said. “With my Ryder Cup hat on, I’ll also be using the week to see how some of my potential team members are shaping up ahead of Hazeltine.
“Plus there’s no better preparation for the Open Championship than to test yourself on a links course the week before, so there are many reasons why I’ll be playing the Scottish Open again this year.”
Read more -> Dundonald Links to host 2017 Scottish Open
Westwood, who romped to a four-shot victory at Loch Lomond in 1998, added: “There’s no better place to play golf than Scotland. The courses are amazing, the fans are very knowledgeable, and there’s always a great atmosphere.
“Winning the Scottish Open was one of the early highlights of my career, and I’d love to get my hands on the trophy again.”
Lee Westwood at the Scottish Open :: Your thoughts
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