Mickelson chases Scottish title defence

BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open | Preview | 09 Jul 2014

The traditional lead-up event to the Open Championship, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, is played this week at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club’s Balgownie Links in Aberdeen, the first occasion the venue has hosted the event.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world in fact it was bestowed with the Royal insignia as far back as 1903. The venue has played host to the Senior Open Championship and the Walker Cup in the past but this is a great opportunity to showcase its magnificence to the world.

The field is headed in terms of world ranking by Justin Rose who comes off the back of a great win at the Quicken Loans event on a tough and demanding Congressional Country Club.

Rose has seldom played this event but nobody else has played this venue either so the there is no real advantage of long time participants.

Rory McIlroy has had no luck in the few times he has played the Scottish Open and has not played the event in the last four years. McIlroy disappointed when missing the cut at the Irish Open two weeks ago but he was playing well the week before. He is somewhat of an enigma McIlroy. When he is good nobody can beat him but he does lack consistency or predictability at times.

Luke Donald disappointed at the US Open but his form prior was good enough. He enjoys a very good record in this event and although this is a new venue he might again be inspired to play well in Scotland. He has not often performed well on links golf courses but he did win this event at Castle Stuart.

The Americans Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker have claims because of their class although only Mickelson has played the event previously.

Mickelson is not playing as well this year as he was when winning at Castle Stuart last year but seem more adaptable these days than has been the case in the past. He has shown a capacity to handle links golf in recent times and although a little inconsistent of late he does deserve consideration.

Fowler’s last start second at the US Open was particularly impressive and he does boast a little bit of form on links golf courses more especially when 5th at the Open Championship in 2011 at Royal St Georges. His chances seem a little better than they would appear on paper.

Walker has not played a lot of links golf although he did win at Pebble Beach this year. Pebble Beach in February is hardly Scottish seaside golf but his 9th at the US Open on a rugged golf course and his great season to date have been impressive.

Ian Poulter has been sneaking along under the radar of late with some solid although unrecognised efforts. He has missed only two of 13 cuts this season and regularly plays well on links golf courses.
Australians in the field include Matt Jones, Brett Rumford, Richard Green and Wade Ormsby.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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