The European Tour moves to Scotland this week for the resumption of its Rolex Series at the Scottish Open. With plenty of big names in the field and significant money on offer, can one of the six Aussies break our 25-year drought?
DEFENDING CHAMPION: At the same venue in 2019, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger overcame Benjamin Hebert in sudden death after both reached 22-under to claim his sixth European Tour win and first Rolex Series title.
COURSE: Located in North Berwick and lying next door to Open Championship venue Muirfield, The Renaissance Club welcomes the Scottish Open for the second straight year this week. Tom Doak’s design has also hosted the Women’s Scottish Open the last two years.
Opened in 2008, Renaissance is a somewhat unique layout that was carved from forrest and built with tournament play in mind.
Measuring 6,715 metres this week, the wind will be the primary factor to determine scoring here.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
After finding some form during his quick trip back to Europe and the Portugal Masters with a T3, Tommy Fleetwood returned to America and promptly missed the cut at the US Open. The World No.17’s inconsistent form is certainly a concern, however his love of seaside golf makes him worth keeping an eye on here.
Fleetwood didn’t play here in 2019, so the course will be an unfamiliar challenge, but as one of the premier ball strikers in the world, one could expect Fleetwood to acclimatise pretty quickly as he searches for his first win in 2020.
Last year’s winner, Wiesberger has been very hot and cold of late, mixing the occasional good finish with middle of the field finishes and worse as he juggled opportunities on the PGA Tour with his European starts.
RIGHT: Wiesberger gives the trophy a kiss in 2019. PHOTO: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
A T43 at the US Open in his last start is a positive sign, so too is the seven-time European Tour winner returning to a course he set the scoring record at last year.
Of the six-strong Australian contingent teeing it up in Scotland this week, Maverick Antcliff presents as perhaps the most interesting to watch his progress.
A second straight top-10 finish last week earnt him a place in the field here, and with his confidence brimming after a T3 in Northern Ireland last week and a game reliant on keeping the ball in play and an occasionally very hot putter, the Queenslander could give his maiden European Tour victory another shake here against one of the stronger fields seen in Europe since the start of the year.
72-HOLE RECORD: South African Brandon Stone’s 260 shots in 2018 at Gullane is the best tournament aggregate score, while last year’s playoff combatants, Wiesberger and Hebert, set the mark in relation to par (22-under).
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Wayne Riley (1995), Peter O’Malley (1992), Craig Parry (1991) and Graham Marsh (1973).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Maverick Antcliff, Scott Hend, Lucas Herbert, Min Woo Lee, Wade Ormsby and Jason Scrivener.
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8:30pm – 2:30am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8:30pm – 2:30am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 3:30am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 506 LIVE 9:30pm – 3am)
*AEST, check local guides