European Tour

Mickelson brings major appeal to Scotland

Phil Mickelson (Getty)
Phil Mickelson (Getty)

Cape Town - Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson is returning for his 15th appearance at the Scottish Open, as he aims to repeat his winning formula of 2013.

The American star, who sealed the most recent of his ten European Tour wins at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March, joins a stellar field at Gullane Golf Club from July 12-15.

Mickelson aims to add a second Scottish Open trophy - and another Claret Jug - to his impressive trophy cabinet.

READ: Mickelson apologises for US Open rules violation

His dramatic 2013 play-off win over South African Branden Grace at Castle Stuart was his first victory on British soil, and the celebrations continued the following week when another magnificent performance on the links secured his fifth Major title in The Open Championship at Muirfield.

That victory completed a unique hat trick as he became the third successive Open Champion to have played in the Scottish Open the week before lifting golf's greatest prize, with Mickelson following Darren Clarke and Ernie Els to the title. Indeed, six of the last eight winners of the Claret Jug have played in the Scottish Open the previous week.

This year the Scottish Open is once again part of the Rolex Series - the premium category of tournaments on the European Tour's Race to Dubai, each with a minimum prize fund of $7million.

Mickelson will tee it up at Gullane, just a few miles along Scotland's Golf Coast from his Muirfield victory, as one of the star names in a world-class field that includes defending champion Rafa Cabrera Bello, his compatriots 2018 Masters Tournament winner Patrick Reed and 2015 Scottish Open winner Rickie Fowler, another former winner in world No 3 Justin Rose, and 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson.

"When I won the Scottish Open in 2013 I said at the time that I had proved to myself that I could win on the links, and it has gone down as a special win for me for a lot of reasons. It's a tournament that I've enjoyed playing in for a number of years, and to take what I learned that week at Castle Stuart and use it to help get my hands on the Claret Jug after one of the best rounds of my career, was really a fantastic experience," said Mickelson.

"I don't think there is a better way to get ready for a Major Championship than playing the week before and getting into contention and coming out on top just gives me more confidence. I can't wait to get back to Gullane and play in front of the Scottish crowds again. I enjoyed the experience back in 2015 and being so close to Muirfield makes it feel a bit like a homecoming."

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