America’s Rickie Fowler has taken little time to familiarise himself with the scene of his 2015 triumph at Gullane after returning for this week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.
Fowler’s victory three years ago secured his first European Tour win, with the Californian winning by one stroke ahead of France’s Raphael Jacquelin and American Matt Kuchar.
The 29-year-old feels confident the knowledge gained of the East Lothian course during his success will stand him in good stead this time around.
Fowler said: “It’s great to be in Scotland, I love links golf and I love being here. It’s great to be back at Gullane.
“I definitely enjoyed it from the first time I played it. It’s a fairly straightforward links golf course with not many blind shots. It’s kind of right in front of you and I feel like we’ve got a good variety of conditions last time, as far as a couple days where it blew pretty good.
“I definitely remember the stretch I had coming in, that final four, five holes to get myself back in it and win it with a birdie at the last.
“It’s always nice to finish with a birdie but at that point, it was to have a chance, and then you know, ultimately, that’s what sealed it.”
Fowler will remain in Scotland for next week’s Open Championship at Carnoustie, where he will go in search of his first major.
Fowler played the Angus course along with North Berwick earlier this week, and he feels well prepared for both links he will face over the coming fortnight.
He added: “My caddie, Joe Skovron, and my agent, have played at North Berwick a few times in the past years when we were here at Gullane, and also when we were around for The Open at Muirfield.
“North Berwick has been around for quite a while, and actually, not many people know, but my coach that I grew up learning the game from, his grandfather was the head pro over there. So there’s a little bit of a connection there, and it was nice to finally get over there and go play North Berwick.
“What was nice on Tuesday about playing Carnoustie is it will make Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday next week more relaxed.”
It was yesterday confirmed the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open will return to East Lothian again next year when the nearby Renaissance Club hosts the European Tour event for the first time from July 8-14, 2019.
This will be followed by the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, which will once again be played over the same course, from August 5-11, 2019.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are delighted to bring the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open to The Renaissance Club and a course which has quickly built a reputation as one of the finest in a simply stunning part of Scotland.”