Open Championship ticket booked, 40 places up in the world ranking from last week and injury free, these are some of the things Richard Sterne has on his side this week as he heads to Castle Stuart Golf Links before teeing it up at Royal Troon.
Playing mostly on medical exemptions this year, Sterne has used his chances with three top-10 finishes and an eleventh-place finish last week at the 100th Open de France. Such was the quality of the field in Paris that the 34-year-old managed to grab one of the four Open Championship spots on offer, despite ending outside the top-10.
A top-10 finish at the Irish Open added into his season and one can see that the six-time Sunshine Tour winner is showing glimpses of his best, when he was ranked inside the top-30 in the world.
His record at the Scottish Open is good – he tied for fourth in 2007 and 11th in 2009 while the tournament was still held at Loch Lomond. His best finish at Castle Stuart Golf links is tied-31st in 2013, after which he finished a career-best tied-21st at The Open a week later.
Sterne will take a lot of confidence into the Scottish national open, having carded 67 at Castle Stuart Links back in 2013. He’ll hope for a good finish before tackling the Open for a seventh time, although he’s never competed at Royal Troon before.