Rookie Scots Trio Secure Invites to Castle Stuart
Three of Scotland’s brightest young professional talents have been handed a career-changing chance in next week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links.
Rookie pros James Byrne, David Law and Michael Stewart have secured invitations for The European Tour showpiece, a £2.5m event where a stellar field is gathering.
Aberdeen Asset Management, long-term sponsors of the SGU, gave the ambitious trio superb backing in the amateur ranks and are now giving them the chance to play in the biggest event on their home soil.
The Scots are all finding their feet in the paid ranks since turning pro last year, with Law – mentored by former Open champion Paul Lawrie – already winning on the third-tier EPD Tour circuit.
Law previously played in the Scottish Open as an amateur at Loch Lomond in 2010, when Kirkhill amateur Paul Shields carried his bag. Law was then the reigning Scottish Amateur champion, an event the Aberdonian won for a second time in 2011.
Byrne (Banchory) and Stewart (Troon Welbeck) were both members of the Great Britain & Ireland winning Walker Cup team at Royal Aberdeen last year and will relish a return to competing in front of home fans on the big stage.
Stewart said: “Being invited to play in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is a tremendous opportunity that I’m extremely grateful for and excited about. It’s a chance to play at the highest level which is where I want to be.
“This will be my first Scottish Open and my first time playing Castle Stuart. I’ve only heard good reports so I can’t wait to see the course.
"The event is one of the biggest on the European Tour and I’m really looking forward to playing in it. The fact that it’s on home soil will make it that bit more special but the whole experience is what I’m looking forward to.”
Byrne tied for 26th in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last year, while Stewart played in the South African Open with Ernie Els thanks to winning the 2011 South African Amateur Championship.
The trio bolster a strong Scottish contingent already set for Castle Stuart Golf Links, with the likes of Lawrie, Martin Laird, Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay and Scott Jamieson – who was in the hunt for the silverware last year – all featuring.
The last Scottish winner of the tournament was Colin Montgomerie in 1999, at Loch Lomond, and the victorious Ryder Cup captain is also in the field.