July 8, 2014 / 3:24 PM / 5 years ago

Rare visitor Walker relishing Scottish Open challenge

(Reuters) - American Jimmy Walker makes a rare European appearance this week when he takes on the challenge of the tough Royal Aberdeen links course for the Scottish Open and he has not just come to make up the numbers.

Masters rookie Jimmy Walker of the U.S. hits from the sand on the second hole during a practice round ahead of the 2014 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“I didn’t come over here to dink it around for two or four days,” he told the European Tour website (www.europeantour.com) on Tuesday. “I’m here to play well and win.”

The tournament is the traditional warm-up for the British Open which starts at Royal Liverpool on July 17 and Walker, ranked 18th in the world, said the course was looking in fantastic shape.

“I’ve only played a couple of holes so far, but it looks very demanding off the tee,” said the 35-year-old, who tied ninth in the US Open in June.

“But I like to work and shape the ball so I think it will fit my game very well. But if you miss the fairway it will be tough to find the ball.”

One man hoping to do well on his home course is former British Open champion Paul Lawrie.

Lawrie, 45, has been struggling since January with a neck injury but was hopeful of getting back to some form.

“My game isn’t in a bad state but I have struggled in the last two weeks. It would be nice to put in a bit of a performance here,” he said.

“But the golf course is magnificent and the boys are going to love it.”

Phil Mickelson defends the title he won in a play-off last year. The tournament starts on Thursday.

Reporting By Tony Goodson, editing by Alan Baldwin

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