Three-time major Champion Padraig Harrington is hoping his love of links golf can help him to be crowned the king of Castle Stuart after confirming he will compete in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open from July 12-15, writes the European Tour.
The Irishman finished tied 14th at the Inverness venue last year with rounds of 69, 67 and 68, and he will be looking to build on a promising start to 2012, which included a share of eighth place at the Masters Tournament in April.
Renowned as a links expert following his Open Championship triumphs at Carnoustie in 2007 and Royal Birkdale the year after, Harrington is keen to display that kind of form again a week before he heads to Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club to try to win a third Claret Jug.
“I loved the week in Inverness and am really looking forward to getting back to Castle Stuart,” said the 40 year old. “There was a great atmosphere all week last year and I enjoyed the area, the town and the golf course.
“There is nothing quite like getting back to playing links golf the week before The Open Championship. It is ideal preparation for The Open, and I have always been in favour of taking the Scottish Open to a links venue for that reason. It is good to know that we have the opportunity to play links golf at Royal Portrush soon before Castle Stuart prior to tackling Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s.
“I shot three rounds in the 60s at Castle Stuart and finished in the top 15 last year and not even the freak weather on the Saturday managed to spoil my week. The Scottish Open is one of the leading events on the schedule, and I am certainly relishing the chance to try to add another prestigious title to my list of victories.”
Harrington will join a strong field for the second staging of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, with Luke Donald, who returned to World Number One on Sunday following his brilliant victory in the BMW PGA Championship, already confirmed to defend the title he won last year. Scottish pair Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird will lead the home challenge.