High stakes at Castle Stuart
Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, July 12 to 15
July is a big month for golf in the UK and Ireland. After Jamie Donaldson won the Irish Open in Royal Portrush, the top players of the tour all want to play their best golf in Scotland and England. This week, every Scottish golfer is hoping for a local hero to win in Inverness, at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
At Castle Stuart
Golf Links in Inverness, Scotland, one of the biggest titles of the European Tour is at stake. Winning the Scottish Open is a big deal to players and raising the trophee in Inverness can turn a good season into a great one. The Scottish Open is also the place for heroism. Like last year, when Englishman Luke Donald – the World’s Number One golfer – had a great victory braving wind, rain and long delays, en route to a dominant four shot victory after three rounds.
At Castle Stuart a glittering cast of nine Major Champions (boasting 15 Major titles between them), will come together. And of course Luke Donald will be present to defend his 2011 title and – why not – retain the impressive trophy awaiting the 2012 winner at Castle Stuart.
Array of Major Champions
Donald will be joined by an array of fellow Major champions, like Rich Beem, Angel Cabrera, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle, José Maria Olazábal and Louis Oosthuizen. The popular South African Ernie Els is also returning to Scotland, in search of a third title to add to his victories at Loch Lomond in 2000 and 2003. The South African had a strong performance in the US Open where he finished ninth. European Ryder Cup team Captain José Maria Olazábal is joined by his predecessor, Colin Montgomerie – the 1999 Scottish Open winner. The field also contains 18 past and present Ryder Cup players and 12 European Tour champions on the 2012 International Schedule.
The prize fund for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is £2.5 million; to claim the first prize of £500,000, the players will have to conquer a three-year-old golf course that has received worldwide praise since its official opening. It is a typical links course, the oldest style of golf course, and as some might say: typically Scottish. Castle Stuart course
is very near to a coast, amid dunes, with few water hazards and few trees.
Rumple and bunkers
The course offers some ‘rumple’, areas of uneven small hillocks and hollows, that can result in an uneven lie after an errant drive. There are plenty of bunkers around at this course, but the vast open sandy areas in this golf course can pose an even greater challenge. Another great feature of the course is the ‘infinity edge’ at several holes, with fairways and greens that seem to be situated right next to the North Sea. These features, with the presence of thousands of Scottish golf fans, will make the perfect venue for a championship weekend of great golf.
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