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Peterhead golfer McLeary takes the Highland road for Scottish Open

Jamie McLeary
Jamie McLeary

Peterhead-born Jamie McLeary has landed a place in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open after European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke and PGA Tour player Martin Laird withdrew from the Castle Stuart event.

Laird, a three-time PGA Tour winner, had received an invite to play Castle Stuart but will not be making the journey to Inverness.

Clarke, winner of the 2011 Open championship, was one of eight major winners due to tee it up at the Inverness venue next month.

The 47-year-old withdrew from the US Open earlier this month, saying his Ryder Cup duties had prevented him preparing properly for Oakmont.

He has now decided to remove the Scottish Open from his limited playing schedule.

Clarke has not played a European Tour event since missing the cut at the BMW PGA championship last month after rounds of 79 and 77, but is in the field for this week’s double-ranking French Open.

Their decision not to play the Scottish Open is a boost for Peterhead’s McLeary and Englishman Callum Shinkwin, who were first reserves.

Former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie was among the qualifiers for this year’s Open championship at Royal Troon.

The 53-year-old earned one of three places available at 36-hole qualifying at Glasgow Gailes yesterday and will make a final tournament appearance at the club where he is an honorary member and his father James was a past secretary.

He said: “I’m delighted. I got tired in the afternoon. I tend to forget I am the oldest competitor here and, at 53, playing 36 holes is a bit of an ordeal.

“They call it golf’s longest day and it is. It is going to be very special for me. I am delighted I have qualified as I won’t be playing at Troon again since it only comes around every 12 years. I would be 65 by then so I won’t be allowed to play.”

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