(Reuters) - Former world number one Rory McIlroy will play at the Scottish Open for the first time in five years in July intending to emulate Phil Mickelson’s unique 2013 achievement.
American left-hander Mickelson became the first player to land the Scottish Open-British Open double when he followed up his win at Castle Stuart in Inverness with victory at Muirfield.
“Phil winning the double last year made me realize the Scottish Open is more than good preparation for The Open,” the 24-year-old Northern Irishman told the European Tour website (www.europeantour.com) on Monday.
“He showed it was possible to win both weeks.”
The British Open warmup event was played inland at Loch Lomond between 1996-2010 but the decision to move the tournament to the Castle Stuart seaside course from 2011-13 was welcomed by most of the players.
This season’s event, to be held at Royal Aberdeen from July 10-13, will be staged the week before the British Open goes to Royal Liverpool.
“The Scottish Open going back to a traditional links course was something that made a lot of sense,” said world number six McIlroy.
“This will be my first time at Royal Aberdeen. It’s a great links with lots of golfing history...and of course Phil will be back to defend his title.”
Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Rex Gowar