Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stellar field at the Scottish Open

South Africa’s Retief Goosen returns to the scene of one of his many former triumphs when he tees up in The Barclays Scottish Open, to be played at Loch Lomond Golf Club from July 9-12, 2009. Goosen, 40, the double US Open Champion, comes into the tournament fresh from victory in the Transitions Championship on the US PGA Tour and is joined in The Barclays Scottish Open field by fellow former US Open Champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina, defending champion Graeme McDowell from Northern Ireland and the popular Boo Weekley, one of the mainstays in the triumphant American side at last year’s Ryder Cup at Valhalla. Goosen made his first appearance at Loch Lomond back in 1996 when he finished tied 29th and has since gone on to claim one victory and a further two top four finishes at the world-famous west of Scotland club.The South African’s victory came back in 2001 less than a month after he won his first US Open title at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On that occasion he led from start to finish and he replicated that feat at Loch Lomond after opening with a nine under par 62 and then going on to record rounds of 69, 66 and 71 to finish three shots ahead of Thomas Björn and four in front of John Daly, Barry Lane, Paul McGinley and Adam Scott. Cabrera, the 2007 US Open Champion, is also a regular competitor at The Barclays Scottish Open having made his debut back in 1997 when he finished tied for 16th place. His best performance to date was in 2005 when he opened strongly with rounds of 64 and 67 but lost out to South Africa’s Tim Clark who posted rounds of 67, 66, 65 and 67 for a 19 under par aggregate of 265. Weekley makes a welcome return to The Barclays Scottish Open as part of what is likely to be one of the strongest fields the tournament has ever attracted. “It is still early days but, judging from the phone calls we’ve been getting, it looks likely to be a tremendous field,” said Championship Director, Peter Adams. “We have already received verbal entries from several golfers within the top 20 on the Official World Golf Ranking and expect to make a number of other major announcements over the coming months.” Last summer, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell supported by his mum Marian, dad Kenny and other family members, added his name to a stellar list of champions when he closed with a three under par 68 to finish two shots ahead of South Africa’s James Kingston on 13 under par 271. This year marks the 14th successive year Loch Lomond has hosted a major European Tour event. It staged its first international tournament back in 1996 when Thomas Björn triumphed and subsequent champions have been Tom Lehman (1997), Lee Westwood (1998), Colin Montgomerie (1999), Ernie Els (2000 and 2003), Retief Goosen (2001), Eduardo Romero (2002), Thomas Levet (2004), Tim Clark (2005), Johan Edfors (2006), Grégory Havret (2007) and Graeme McDowell (2008).

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