The links effect continues to lure some of the European Tour's biggest names to the north-east of Scotland.

With one eye on July's Open Cham­pionship at Hoylake, Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood have both confirmed that they will compete in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen the week before the battle for the Claret Jug takes place on the Wirral.

Clarke, the Northern Irishman who warmed up in the Scottish showpiece at Castle Stuart before going on to win the Open at Royal St George's in 2011, finished runner-up to Edoardo Molinari in the 2010 championship at Loch Lomond, while Westwood will make his return to an event he won in 1998 for the first time in three years.

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"It's no secret that I love links golf," said Clarke. "So to have a new links course on the schedule is very exciting for me, and especially at an event with which I have a real affinity."

Westwood, the former European No.1, is convinced that the event will offer the ideal chance to get ready for Hoylake. "I think it will be the perfect place to prepare and that is one of the reasons why I have made the decision to return this year," he added.

Clarke and Westwood's confirmation that they will travel to the Granite City is another sizeable boost for the Scottish Open field which is headlined by Phil Mickelson, the defending champion, and two-time major winner Rory McIlroy. Justin Rose, the reigning US open champion, has stated that an appearance at Royal Aberdeen is "on the cards".

The competition may also feature Russell Knox after the Scot contacted organisers to request an invitation. The 28-year-old - who will marry long-term girlfriend Andrea Hernandez in Florida later this month - has expressed his desire to be involved at Royal Aberdeen and is awaiting a response from officials.

He has not been spending the time idle either, since he found plenty to work on following a disappointing closing round in the Valero Texas Open on Sunday. He carded a score of 73 in the last round to share 26th.

The Scot was at least able to take some solace from the impact the result has had on his position in the PGA money list - Russell rising into 36th place having earned just $19,879 short of earning $1m this season. "Even though I didn't win the result kicked a lot of goals for me," he said. "It's just that playing so poorly in San Antonio on the last day annoys me."

Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, has left Westwood and Clarke in Chubby Chandler's ISM management stable and signed a deal to be represented by IMG.