A total of nine Major Champions, boasting 15 Major titles between them, and the world’s Number One golfer Luke Donald, will spearhead a glittering cast which will assemble at Castle Stuart Golf Links in just under three weeks’ time for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Donald, who sits on the summit of the world game after a remarkable 2011 in which he captured The Race to Dubai and the US PGA Tour Money List, returns to Inverness to attempt a unique ‘double double’ by recording back-to-back victories in both the BMW PGA Championship and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
The 34 year old Englishman made a successful defence of the first title at Wentworth Club last month, and he returns to Scotland intent on retaining the impressive quaich trophy awaiting the 2012 winner at Castle Stuart.
Following the close of entries for the tournament yesterday (Thursday), Donald took pride of place at the head of a field in which he will be joined by an array of fellow champions who have scaled the peak of Major success at least once, namely Rich Beem, Angel Cabrera, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle, Shaun Micheel, José Maria Olazábal and Louis Oosthuizen.
Irishman Harrington, winner of three Major Championships, arrives in Scotland fresh from a strong performance in the US Open at Olympic Club, in which he finished in a tie for fourth place just two shots behind winner Webb Simpson.
Els returns to Castle Stuart in search of a third title to add to his victories at Loch Lomond in 2000 and 2003. The South African shot three rounds in the sixties last year and he arrives in Scotland on the back of a strong performance in the US Open where he finished ninth behind Simpson.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Champion, makes his debut at Castle Stuart having come close to landing a second Major title in April, when he lost a play-off to Bubba Watson for the Masters Tournament at Augusta National.
Olazábal, who leads Europe into action in The Ryder Cup at Medinah in September, is joined by his predecessor as Captain, Colin Montgomerie – the 1999 Scottish Open winner – while Scotland’s last two Major Champions, Paul Lawrie and Sandy Lyle, along with US-based Scot Martin Laird, are also in the world class field.
Two-time Major winner Angel Cabrera of Argentina makes a rare but welcome appearance in Europe after a fine performance at Castle Stuart last year when he finished in third place.
The field also contains 18 Ryder Cup players, past and present, and 12 European Tour champions on the 2012 International Schedule while a number of players who currently ply their trade on the US PGA Tour such as John Rollins and Andres Romero will be chasing one of the biggest titles on The European Tour.
Peter Adams, Championship Director, commented: “We are delighted that a field of the highest quality will assemble at Castle Stuart in just under three weeks’ time. With the World Number One and a host of Major Champions and tournament winners in the field, we can anticipate another superb week of world class competition on a world class links course.”
Advance ticket savings are still available for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, with adult one day tickets currently costing £30 – a reduction of £5 on the gate price. Adult season tickets are currently priced at £70, offering a £10 saving on the gate price.
Also available are tables in the Skean Dhu Hospitality Unit for Saturday July 14 and, new for 2012, additional hospitality places in the panoramic top floor of the Castle Stuart Clubhouse on all four days price from £219 + VAT per person
Full details of all Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open ticket and hospitality offers can be found at: www.europeantour.com/tickets or by calling the Ticket Hotline: +44 (0) 800 023 2557. Postal enquiries should be addresses to: European Tour Tickets; Mirren Court Three; 123 Renfrew Court Three; Paisley; PA3 4EA.