With 100 days to go before the 33rd Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open takes place at Gullane Golf Club, former winner Luke Donald and American Ryder Cup star Matt Kuchar have added their names to the field.
Like his compatriot and reigning champion, Justin Rose, Donald will be aiming to lift the coveted trophy for a second time, having triumphed when the tournament was held at Castle Stuart Golf Links in 2011.
That stunning performance – he cruised home by four shots courtesy of a closing round of 63 – earned Donald his sixth win on The European Tour and, having won the BMW PGA Championship for a second time in 2013, the 37 year old will be seeking an eighth Tour title when he tackles Gullane’s Championship course – a composite of No.1 and No.2 – from July 9-12.
Donald boasts a remarkable record in the £3.25 million tournament – he finished in the top five in each of his first three appearances, before winning at the fourth attempt – and the former World Number One is determined to continue that run and sharpen his game ahead of The 144th Open Championship, which takes place the following week on the Old Course at St Andrews.
He said: “I’ve tended to do well in the Scottish Open whenever I’ve played the tournament in the past, so I’ll obviously be very keen to continue that good run this year. I got the chance to play Gullane last year and really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to going back and teeing it up competitively.
“The Scottish golf fans are very knowledgeable and respectful of the game which, as well as the great courses, is one of the main reasons why I enjoy playing the tournament so much. Hopefully I can have another good week and fine tune my game before The Open.”
Kuchar, currently 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking, is making his first appearance in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open for four years. His five appearances include three as an amateur between 1998 and 2000, when the tournament was held at Loch Lomond, and his best finish was a tie for tenth behind Donald in 2011.
The 37 year old has seven US PGA Tour victories to his name, including the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but he will be bidding to secure his first victory in a regular European Tour event when he heads to East Lothian.
Kuchar said: “I love everything about Scotland, so I didn’t need any persuading to play the Scottish Open this year. It’s the ‘Home of Golf’ and I believe Gullane is a fabulous course, so I’m excited about my trip there.
“After seeing what Phil [Mickelson] did in 2013, when he won at Castle Stuart the week before winning The Open, I think a lot of Americans thought that getting some links practice in at the Scottish Open made a lot of sense.
“I really enjoy the challenge of links golf, because it’s very different to what we play every week on the PGA Tour. So I’m really looking forward to testing myself at Gullane, and then at St Andrews the week after.”
A season ticket for the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open can be purchased for £70 in advance of the tournament, a saving of £10 on admission at the gate. Adult day tickets are currently priced at £25, rising to £35 on the gate.
Concessions (60 and over) start at £50 for a season ticket and £20 for any one day tickets, if purchased in advance. Under-16s accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge, and all car parking is also free. Entry to the Pro-Am on Wednesday is £12 in advance, and £15 on the day.