Matt Kuchar says he sympathises with Phil Mickelson’s decision not to play in this year’s Scottish Open.
It’s only the third time in 15 years that Mickelson, who won the 2013 Scottish Open en route to completing the ‘Scottish double’ in the Open at Muirfield, has missed the tournament – with the reason he gave due to it being at first-time host venue Dundonald Links.
The five-time major winner said he had no interest in continuing to learn new links layouts before playing in the Open and Kuchar, a 2016 Ryder Cup teammate of Mickelson, wholeheartedly agrees with him.
“I completely understand,” Kuchar told bunkered.co.uk. “Trying to learn a new course for the Scottish and then a new one for the Open – I understand it. There’s a lot of work involved in preparing for each course.
“Scheduling is a tough thing – trying to find the right balance and do the right preparation. With the Open, I haven’t quite figured out what suits me best yet.”
Next year, the Scottish Open will head back to 2015 host venue Gullane and tournament director Peter Adams said Mickelson’s comments were taken onboard when the decision was being made.
“We obviously would listen to what Phil has said,” he said. “But it’s not specifically that. “It’s much more about the policy of rotating the tournament across the different regions. It was important for us to come to the west. Dundonald is a great course and we’ve had tremendous support in bringing it here.”
Kuchar, meanwhile, couldn’t be happier that the tournament is to make its return to East Lothian. He finished T2 behind Rickie Fowler two years ago.
“I had a great experience at Gullane – I really enjoyed my stay,” he added. “I’ve got friends that stay nearby in North Berwick so I was able to hang with them and enjoy the golf course. I certainly had a nice week.”