• Scottish Open: Stone defends as stars gather

    Brandon Stone
    Stone is back to defend

    The European Tour heads to Scotland for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open as the Rolex Series takes centre stage again. Here are five things to know ahead of the action on the East Lothian links.

    One shot from history

    Brandon Stone was one stroke away from recording the first round of 59 on the European Tour as he went on to secure the title last year. The South African’s birdie putt on the 72nd hole narrowly missed, as he became the 18th player to sign for a round of 60 on the European Tour and the fourth to do so on a Sunday on their way to lifting the trophy.

    Should Stone defend the title this week he would write his name in the history books, becoming the first player to win back-to-back Scottish Open titles.

    Star-studded field 

    There is no shortage of world-class talent teeing it up at The Renaissance Club with eight Major Champions showcasing their talents this week.

    Rory McIlroy will tee it up at the Scottish Open for the second time in three years, and is joined by a host of American stars including Major winner Justin Thomas, who is making his Scottish Open debut. The 2015 champion Rickie Fowler returns to East Lothian, as does  Matt Kuchar, who will be making his third-consecutive appearance at the event.

    Rolex Series rolls on

    The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open is the third Rolex Series event of the 2019 European Tour season following the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open last week and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which took place in January.

    The events, each with a minimum prize fund of $7 million, have some of world golf’s biggest names battling it out for the title, making for unmissable drama at eight world-class venues.

    East Lothian love-in  

    The Renaissance Club will host the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open for the first time this week.

    The East Lothian track, which is one of the newest editions to the world-famous stretch known as Scotland’s Gold Coast, previously hosted the Scottish Senior Open on the Staysure Tour in 2017, and now hosts a European Tour event for the first time.

    Following on from the Aberdeen Standards Investments Scottish Open, the Renaissance Club will also host the Aberdeen Standards Investments Ladies Scottish Open. It is the third-successive year that the same venue has hosted both events with the ladies’ action getting under way from 8-11 August.

    Home favourites 

    Following his Dubai Duty Free Irish Open success last year, eyes will be on Russell Knox to see if he can clinch his second Rolex Series title. Also expected to attract a lot of home support will be Oban-native Robert MacIntyre. The 2018 European Challenge Tour graduate has shone during his rookie European Tour season, recording back-to-back runner-up results at the Betfred British Masters and Made in Denmark presented by FREJA.

    Fellow Scots Stephen Gallacher and David Law, who won the Hero Indian Open and ISPS Handa Vic Open, respectively, will be teeing it up with Law looking for another victory on home soil  after clinching his first professional win at the 2018 Scottish Challenge on the Challenge Tour.

    Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

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