The European Tour returns to the motherland this week for the inaugural Scottish Championship. Here’s everything you need to know before the action kicks off at Fairmont St Andrews on Thursday.
COURSE: The Torrance Course at Fairmont St Andrews was originally designed by its namesake (Sam Torrance) and the late Gene Sarazen in the 1990s. It was refurbished to combat drainage issues in 2005 and Gary Stephenson redesigned eight of its holes. The Torrance Course has hosted the Scottish Senior Open on six occasions (2009 – 2014) and was used as the qualifying course for the Open Championship in 2010. The par-72 links layout will this week play to 6,610 metres.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Englishman Aaron Rai recently defeated his compatriot Tommy Fleetwood at the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club and will be eager to rediscover that winning form after missing the cut at Wentworth last week.
Last week’s missed cut aside, Rai has been in superb form since the Tour’s resumption in July, recording four top-10s, including his Scottish Open victory and his runner-up effort at the Irish Open at the end of September.
The 25-year-old was ranked 254th in the Official World Golf Ranking less than a month ago. He is now World No.93 and is sixth in the Race to Dubai, two positions he could further improve with another solid outing this week.
RIGHT: Rai won in Scotland three weeks ago. PHOTO: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.
Robert MacIntyre may have grown up in Oban – three hours west of Fairmont St Andrews – but the reigning Rookie of the Year will have plenty of experience here and his newly-appointed caddie, Mike Thomson, is a Fife native.
The 24-year-old left-hander, who collected 13 top-20s last season, has struggled to recapture his best form since returning from the Tour’s hiatus in August, however he shared 14th place at the Scottish Open two weeks ago and hasn’t missed any weekend action from his seven starts.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Scott Hend, Min Woo Lee, Jake McLeod, Zach Murray, Wade Ormsby and Jason Scrivener.
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10:30pm – 3:30am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10:30pm – 3:30am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 11pm – 3:30am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 10pm – 2:30am)
*AEDT, check local guides