Rory McIlroy is aiming to follow the example set by Phil Mickelson last year after confirming he will play in the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, from July 10-13.
The two-time Major Champion admits that watching Mickelson triumph at Castle Stuart Golf Links in 2013 and then go on to win The Open Championship at Muirfield the following week helped make up his mind to return to the event for the first time in five years.
With the tournament moving to the historic Royal Aberdeen Golf Club for the first time this year, McIlroy believes that taking on one of the most renowned links courses in Scotland, The Home of Golf, as part of a strong international field that also includes defending champion Mickelson, will be the perfect preparation ahead of attempting to win his first Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
“It’ll be my first time playing Royal Aberdeen”, said McIlroy. “I believe it’s a great links with lots of golfing history. I’m really looking forward to the challenge it’ll present”.
McIlroy’s previous appearances in the tournament both came at Loch Lomond, in 2008 and 2009. He added: “To play some competitive golf on a links course will be great preparation for The Open Championship the following week”.
“The field is going to be very strong. Aberdeen Asset Management has done a great job in promoting the event and bringing some of the best players in the world there. And Phil (Mickelson) will be back, of course, to defend his title”.
“I can think of no better preparation for The Open, especially on a respected course like Royal Aberdeen. There will also be so many similarities I can bring to the following week’s Open Championship”.
The former World Number One will be hoping his first visit to Aberdeen – home of the tournament title sponsors – is a precursor to him returning to Scottish soil two months later as part of Paul McGinley’s European Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles.
McIlroy has made a strong start to 2014, finishing joint runner-up with Mickelson in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and tied ninth in last week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, following on from a winning end to 2013 at the Emirates Australian Open.
He will be hoping to continue that form into the summer and believes it is possible to match Mickelson’s achievement of back-to-backs wins in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and The Open Championship.
“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.” he said. “The Scottish Open going back to a traditional links course was something that made a lot of sense”.
“Yet 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”.
Golf fans can now book their ticket to see Major Champions McIlroy and Mickelson in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, with advanced discounts currently on offer.
A season ticket for the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open can be purchased for £60 in advance of the tournament - saving £20 on admission at the gate. Adult day tickets are currently priced at £25, rising to £35 on the gate.
Concessions (60 and over) start at £40 for a season ticket and £15 for any one day tickets if purchased in advance. Under-16s accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge and all car parking is also free. Entrance to the Pro-Am on Wednesday is £8 in advance and £15 on the day.
Full ticket information can be found at: www.aamscottishopen.com or www.europeantour.com/tickets or via the telephone Ticket Hotline on: +440800 023 2557. Postal enquiries should be sent to: European Tour Tickets, Mirren Court Three, 123 Renfrew Court Three, Paisley, PA3 4EA.