MORAY golfers will pit their wits with some top professional names at this weekend’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open qualifier in Lossiemouth.
Moray Golf Club plays host to the 36-hole qualifier this weekend (July 2 and 3) with five places at the following week’s £3.25 million Scottish Open up for grabs.
A field of 116 players will battle it out for the £50,000 prize pot, though the chance to line-up at Castle Stuart alongside major winners like Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Padraig Harrington is the bigger attraction.
Local golfers in the field include home course hopefuls Kyle Godsman and Derek Ramsay, Elgin professional Michael McAllan and Forres amateur Jeff Wright.
Big names include two-time European Tour event winners Alastair Forsyth and Stephen McAllister, and Englishman Jonathan Lomas who finished 20th in the European Order of Merit in 1996.
The qualifier has attracted another fascinating mix of full-time Tour pros, PGA pros and amateurs, and is staged by the PGA in association with VisitScotland and the European Tour.
It was introduced to offer more Scottish players the chance to play in their national Open and last year’s inaugural qualifier in East Lothian saw young amateur Calum Hill grab one of the five slots.
"The inaugural Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open qualifier was a great success last year and we are looking forward to building on that when the event is held this weekend at Moray Golf Club," said PGA in Scotland secretary Shona Malcolm.
"We are fortunate to be staging the event once again at one of Scotland’s top links courses and will continue to do so."
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, added: "Moray will provide a fantastic setting for the event and shows the strength in depth of quality golf courses in the Highlands, which is already one of Scotland’s most popular golf tourism destinations.
"The excitement for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open returning to Castle Stuart is already building and nowhere will that excitement be felt more than at Moray GC during the qualifier."
Moray Golf Club has a long history when it comes to hosting tournaments, having staged a PGA EuroPro Tour event as recently as 2013, when Tartan Tour player Paul McKechnie claimed victory.
McKechnie returns to the Lossiemouth links this weekend to try and win his place at Castle Stuart.