July 09, 2014

ABERDEEN, Scotland (AP) From Darren Clarke in 2011 to Phil Mickelson in 2013, the last three winners of the British Open have honed their links-course game at the Scottish Open a week earlier.

So perhaps it's no surprise that trend has lured many top players to the northern tip of Scotland, not just for a tilt at the $850,000 top prize but also for some practice of the type of shots that will be required at the year's third major at Hoylake.

Mickelson is a Scottish Open regular who won the tournament last year before going on to capture the claret jug at Muirfield.

He will face competition from the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and fellow Americans Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler at Royal Aberdeen starting Thursday.

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