With just five weeks to go, the excitement is building for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart from 7-10 July.
The recent announcement that Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke has joined the field, along with cup heroes Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson, has led to the buzz of anticipation around the event becoming that much louder.
The high profile foursome will be joined in the Highlands by five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, the 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell, World Number Six Henrik Stenson and Inverness-born Russell Knox.
A stellar field is beginning to assemble for the visit of the event to Castle Stuart for the fourth time in six years. With Mickelson (2013), Jeev Milkha Singh (2012) and Donald (2011) all confirming their attendance, our last three winners will be reunited this year in Inverness.
Westwood, who finished joint second behind Danny Willett at The Masters, is also a previous Scottish Open winner, triumphing in 1998 at Loch Lomond Golf Club.
Clarke, a three-time Scottish Open runner-up, won The Open Championship at Royal St George’s in 2011 having played at Castle Stuart the week before – a feat repeated by Mickelson in 2013 when he won the claret jug at Muirfield a few days after his Highland success.
As the countdown to the Scottish Open continues, we are stepping up our preparations to welcome the stars and the 70,000 spectators we expect will come to see them play over the four days.
Castle Stuart, Inverness and the wider Highlands will be showcased to a worldwide television audience which will bring significant economic benefits to the area and could have a long-term impact on tourism and business.
We hope that seeing such a spectacular setting on screen will encourage leisure visitors to seek out Castle Stuart and some of our other wonderful links courses for themselves. Furthermore, the event could also strengthen links with business as it represents a great networking opportunity. It could also provide an incentive for greater inward investment into the area as well as highlighting the Highlands as a great place to live and work.
We have a great infrastructure here and supportive public agencies and business community which will help us and the European Tour use the next 50 days to ensure the 2016 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will have an immediate impact and provide a lasting legacy for decades to come.