Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

McIlroy urged to try Castle Stuart

It remains to be seen whether Rory McIlroy will change his opinion of Castle Stuart to play there in 2016

Rory McIlroy has been urged to try Castle Stuart for himself after it was confirmed the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will return there in 2016.

Ahead of competing at Royal Aberdeen this week, McIlroy said that he had not played the Scottish Open in recent years because Castle Stuart - host from 2011 to 2013 - did not provide "a true links test" in the week before the Open Championship.

The two-time major winner is likely to approve of Sunday's confirmation that a composite course made up from 15 holes of Gullane No 1 and three from Gullane No 2 will host the tournament next year.

But it remains to be seen whether he will change his opinion of Castle Stuart to play there in 2016 ahead of the Open at Royal Troon.

Castle Stuart general manager Stuart McColm said: "The disappointment for me is that Rory has never been. I don't know how he can say something about a golf course he has never seen.

"Why doesn't he come up there and play it before making up his mind."

In addition to confirming the venues for the next two years, it was also revealed on Sunday that next year's Scottish Open will be preceded by a new 54-hole qualifying event which will offer six places in the tournament to Scottish golfers.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said: "Together with the Scottish Government and Aberdeen Asset Management, we are delighted to announce Gullane and Castle Stuart as the next two venues for the championship.

"At Gullane we will be treated to one of the game's most historical venues, while Castle Stuart will once again showcase a truly modern links test."

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