As The European Tour travels to Scotland for this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, we have picked out five players to watch at Castle Stuart Golf Links.
The Englishman is being widely tipped to defend the title he won at Castle Stuart last year. Having already registered a win this year at the BMW PGA Championship, Donald has taken a break from competitive golf since missing the cut at the US Open Championship to hone his game in preparation for an important spell in the golfing calendar, and having already proved he can master Castle Stuart, he is a decent bet for more success.
The Scotsman has been in the form of his life this season and has already amassed six top ten finishes, including victory at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy. Those results have left him eighth in The Race to Dubai and on the verge of qualifying for The 2012 European Ryder Cup Team, and he will be eager to edge closer to booking his seat on the plane to Medinah with a good performance on home soil this week. He also finished 14th in the event last year so knows his game suits the course.
The Irishman is one of the form players heading to Scotland, having finished joint seventh in the Irish Open a fortnight ago and tied fourth at last month’s US Open Championship. With four top tens from six appearances this year, he is showing the sort of form that yielded three Major victories in 2007 and 2008, making him a good pick for both this week and next, when we head to the season’s third Major, The Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
The Englishman has hit a purple patch this season, perhaps inspired by becoming a father for the first time last month. He won the International Final Qualifying at Sunningdale for The Open Championship and temporarily led the BMW PGA Championship before finishing tied tenth. He came 31st in last week’s Alstom Open de France and 24th in the Irish Open the previous week, and he could be a surprise victor at Castle Stuart.
After suffering a dip in form in 2011, the Swede is on the up this year and his confidence will have been boosted by top ten finishes in his last two events, the Alston Open de France and the BMW International Open. This will be his first Scottish Open appearance since 2008, but the course will suit the 36 year old and he could pick up his first European Tour title in five years.