A field of outstanding quality has been assembled for the Standard Life Loch Lomond with five of the world’s top ten golfers converging on the scenic West of Scotland for the third year of Standard Life’s sponsorship.
World No.2 David Duval, No.3 Colin Montgomerie and No.5 Ernie Els – will all be on the picturesque banks of Loch Lomond.
In addition to that illustrious trio, the field is augmented by the presence of Phil Mickelson (No.7) and Jesper Parnevik (No.10) while a further six major champions have entered including reigning Open champion Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, José Maria Olazábal and Tom Lehman, the 1997 winner at Loch Lomond.
Lehman, who shot rounds of 65, 66, 67 and 67 to win in 1997 with a record 19 under par total of 265, admitted at the time: “I’m not sure I can do a whole lot better than that. To play that well for four days is not something you do very often.”
He is one of several top American golfers who have flown across the Atlantic to experience for themselves the brilliance of the Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish designed course which Faldo claims is one of the most beautiful locations on earth.
Apart from Lehman, Notah Begay III – winner of back to back titles on the US PGA Tour recently – has entered, along with Duffy Waldorf, Billy Mayfair and Gary Nicklaus, the youngest son of Jack, who lost-out in a play-off to Mickelson for the BellSouth Classic in April.
Duval is making his first appearance at Loch Lomond. The world No.2 enjoyed a magnificent 1999, winning four times before the Masters and delivering one of the greatest rounds of all time when he shot a 59 in the final round to win the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
That round came just a matter of months before Montgomerie produced a stunning performance to end a 15-year drought by Scottish golfers in their native country. He turned a three stroke overnight deficit into a three stroke win, shooting a closing round of 64 which he admitted was one of the best ball-striking rounds of his life.
Victory meant that Montgomerie became the first Scottish winner in Scotland since Ken Brown won the Glasgow Open in 1984. He finished ahead of Michael Jonzon, Mats Lanner and Sergio Garcia, who followed up his win in the Murphy’s Irish Open by shooting a 62 in the first round.