Published: 22/06/2012 12:31 - Updated: 22/06/2012 17:44

Els hoping to star at Castle Stuart

Ernie Els, hoping to come to the 'four' at next month's Scottish Open
Ernie Els, hoping to come to the 'four' at next month's Scottish Open


Ernie Els is hoping to be to the 'four' next month when he lines up in the field for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links.

The South African is a hugely popular figure wherever he plays throughout the world and especially in Scotland where he has claimed three titles in an illustrious career; The Scottish Open itself at Loch Lomond in 2000 and 2003 and The Open Championship at Muirfield in 2002.

The 42 year old would love nothing better than to add a fourth title in Scotland next month and the former European Tour Number One has every reason to be confident after an impressive debut at Castle Stuart last year.

Els broke 70 in all three rounds of the tournament, scores of 68-69-68 giving him an 11 under par total of 205 for a share of 25th place. It saw the South African continue an impressive run of form in the Scottish Open itself where, aside from his two wins, he finished in the top 15 at Loch Lomond six years in a row from 2004 to 2009.

Els' recent form has also been impressive, finishing in the top ten in both the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club and the US Open at Olympic Club as well as notching five top 25 finishes on the 2012 US PGA Tour including narrowly losing a play-off to Jason Dufner in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April.

"Everyone who knows me knows that I love playing golf in Scotland and I am excited about returning to Castle Stuart once again to compete in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open," said Els.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the layout of the course last year and I played pretty well. I feel my game is coming into form and I am looking forward to contending for my third Scottish Open title."

Els' inclusion augments an already impressive field for the first year of the championship with Aberdeen Asset Management's title sponsorship and support from the Scottish Government.

The South African will battle it out with the cream of the European golf crop headed by defending champion and World Number One Luke Donald and three time Major Champion Padraig Harrington, and augmented by leading Scottish contenders Martin Laird and Paul Lawrie.

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