Andrew Johnston is hoping his next visit to Castle Stuart Golf Links is as memorable as his last.
The Englishman, affectionately known as Beef, aced his tee shot on the 11th hole of his first round in the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. The prize for his ace was a bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne for every yard of the 168yd par 3.
Johnston, who went on to finish tied 36th, will never forget departing Inverness with 168 bottles of bubbly in the boot of his car.
He said: “That was a great week. I certainly have good memories of that 11th hole. I just remember jumping around when my eight iron shot went in the hole. The funny thing was I was playing with Phil Price who had a hole in one at the exact same hole the year before.
“I always seem to play well in Scotland for some reason as I won my first Challenge Tour event at Spey Valley in 2014. I like the courses and the atmosphere. There are so many great courses in Scotland and that’s why I like the fact they move the tournament around.
“Why not showcase what the country has to offer?”
Johnston has enjoyed a great start to the season, having claimed his first European Tour win at April’s Spanish Open.
A tied fourth placing at the Qatar Masters and a top 10 at the BMW PGA Championship were other highlights among his impressive start to the year. Johnston added: “It would be really nice to have a good week at the Scottish Open and then take that form into the Open championship. I finished tied 17th last year which was quite a good week. But I bogeyed the last and when I was driving home I realised that had cost me a place in the Open.
“That was frustrating so hopefully it has a happier ending this time around.”