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European Tour Opening Drive: Scottish Open is Great Prep for British Open

Scottish Open Opening Drive

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Before the eyes of the golfing world turn to Muirfield Village for the British Open next week, many of the stars of the game are getting in one final tune-up at this week’s European Tour event, the Scottish Open. This year’s event is being held at Castle Stuart, which Graeme McDowell doesn’t feel is an adequate venue because the track is too “one-dimensional”.

As with many events on the European Tour, everyone will be keeping a close eye on the weather this week. If the conditions take a turn for the worse, the reasonably wide fairways will not save the players. Poor weather conditions could make this a matter of survival for the field instead of an opportunity to hone their skills. As of right now, the weather is expected to be decent for the first two rounds with the winds picking up over the weekend.

There’s a good chance that the winner of the British Open will come from this field, as the last two winners – Darren Clarke and Ernie Els – both took part in this tournament before playing the Open Championship. The field boasts 11 of the top 50 golfers in the world. Phil Mickelson is the highest ranked golfer on the list, coming in at sixth place. I find it interesting that “Lefty” is one of the favorites at 20/1 odds considering the fact that he has been so unpredictable when playing on similar tracks.

Jeev Milkha Singh is the defending champion but his attempt at a repeat victory was almost derailed by the very finger injury that he suffered en route to his victory in 2012. The injury has continually flared up over the last year, and while he’s in good enough condition to play I don’t anticipate him being much of a factor.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.