Two time Major champion Sandy Lyle, World Cup winner Marc Warren and two time European Tour champion Alastair Forsyth are set to bolster the home challenge for The Barclays Scottish Open at Castle Stuart from July 7-10.
The illustrious trio have been given invites to the tournament and will join a host of their fellow countrymen all hoping to emulate Colin Montgomerie who, to date, is the only Scottish golfer to win the prestigious title; that triumph coming at Loch Lomond in 1999.
Lyle has been in sparkling form on the European Senior Tour this season, a win in the ISPS Handa Senior World Championship at Mission Hills in China in March helping him to his current position of third on the Senior Tour Order of Merit.
Forsyth and Warren have been dividing their time between The European Tour and the Challenge Tour this season and both will be looking to bring their considerable experience to bear in their respective title challenges on the spectacular Moray Firth links.
Forsyth’s last European Tour victory came in the 2008 Madeira Islands Open while Warren’s came on Scottish soil in August 2007 at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, three months before he and Montgomerie combined to bring Scotland its first World Cup triumph at Mission Hills.
Montgomerie himself will also be in action at Castle Stuart. The 2010 Ryder Cup Captain, who turns 48 on Thursday, has turned his attention back to his own golf following his successful stewardship of the European Team at Celtic Manor and has shown signs – particularly with his top seven finish in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club – that he is ready to challenge once again.
With 31 European Tour titles to his name, Montgomerie already holds the record as the most successful golfer in European Tour history and the Scot will be keen to add title number 32 at Castle Stuart.
He will be encouraged in that quest by the knowledgeable Scottish galleries who, it is already known, will turn out in large numbers given the fact that pre-tournament tickets sales have gone so well..
Other Scottish players in action who will feel the benefit of the home support include World Number 24 and two time winner on the US PGA Tour Martin Laird; the 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie; the emerging talents of David Drysdale, Steven O’Hara and Peter Whiteford; and European Tour champions Richie Ramsay, Gary Orr and Stephen Gallacher.
Gallacher, whose only Tour victory to date also came on Scottish soil in the 2004 Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, has gone close in The Barclays Scottish Open in recent years, most notably last season at Loch Lomond where he finished in a tie for fourth place.
About the 2011 Barclays Scottish Open
All four days of the Barclays Scottish Open will be broadcast live; on BBC Television (July 9 and 10) and Sky Sports (July 7 and 8) with extensive highlights on both channels.
Advance tickets are now on sale for the 2011 Barclays Scottish Open – for full details of ticket offers and other events on The European Tour, please visit www.europeantourtickets.com or telephone the Ticket Hotline: +44 (0) 800 023 2557; fax +44 141 887 0223. Please send postal enquiries to European Tour Tickets, Mirren Court Three, 123 Renfrew Court Three, Paisley, PA3 4EA.