Two-time Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson believes Phil Mickelson’s dream double three years ago was the catalyst for many of the game’s elite to return to Castle Stuart.
Rickie Fowler won’t be in Inverness to defend the title he won at Gullane Links last year, citing a busy calendar with golf’s return to the Olympics as the primary reason behind his decision.
However Hanson feels five-time major champion Mickelson’s success at Castle Stuart three years ago followed by Open championship victory at Muirfield the following week proves playing the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is the perfect way for players to fine-tune their links game before the oldest major in golf.
He said: “I think as long as we keep the Scottish Open at a links course then it will always benefit those who are playing in the Open.
“It is nice to play that surface. As golfers we would like to play in less wind and be able to work on certain parts of our swing, but on the same surface.
“It is nice to get a feel for those chip and run shots.
“The contact of hitting the ball off the tighter turf gives a nice feel for the week ahead. I think it is a great set up.
“I have played Castle Stuart a couple of times. I was there when we had the famous mudslides and I finished in the top-10. It is a very good course and great preparation for the Open. I can’t wait to go back.”