McIlroy returns to Scottish Open

Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will this season make his first appearance at the Scottish Open since 2009.

After Phil Mickelson defied history last year to become the first player to win both the Scottish Open and the Open Championship in the same season, McIlroy is hoping Royal Aberdeen will provide the perfect preparation for his Open bid the following week.

“It’ll be my first time playing Royal Aberdeen,” said McIlroy, who played in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond in 2008 and 2009.

“I believe it’s a great links with lots of golfing history. I’m really looking forward to the challenge it will present.

“To play some competitive golf on a links course will be great preparation for The Open Championship the following week.

“I can think of no better preparation for The Open, especially on a respected course like Royal Aberdeen. There will also be so many similarities I can bring to the following week’s Open Championship.”

Mickelson will also be back to defend his title, and McIlroy is excited by the prospect of a strong line-up.

“The field is going to be very strong,” he added. “Aberdeen Asset Management has done a great job in promoting the event and bringing some of the best players in the world there. And Phil will be back, of course, to defend his title.

“Phil winning the double last year made me realise that the Scottish Open is more than good preparation for The Open – he showed it was possible to win both weeks.

“The Scottish Open going back to a traditional links course was something that made a lot of sense.

“Yet you can play as much golf on links courses as you want, but until that’s in a competitive environment you can never tell how ready your game will be.

“It really is so important, then, to get some competitive golf on a true, challenging links”.