The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is to return to Castle Stuart Golf Links for a third successive year in 2013, from July 11-14, before the event moves to a brand new venue, Royal Aberdeen GC, in 2014, writes Henry McCall.
Royal Aberdeen will be staging an event on the European Tour's international schedule for the first time from July 10-13 over the classic Balgownie links. Founded in 1780, Royal Aberdeen is the world's sixth oldest golf club, originally designed by the Simpson brothers, Archie and Robert of Carnoustie, and re-bunkered and lengthened by James Braid. Hawtree and Company are now engaged as the club's architects to ensure the course keeps pace with the modern game.
It will be the eighth different venue to host the Scottish Open since 1972, having previously staged a successful 2005 Senior Open Championship – Aberdeen Asset Management was presenting sponsor – won by Tom Watson, and the 2011 Walker Cup won by Great Britain and Ireland.
The European Tour, the title sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management plc and the Scottish Government, making the announcement, also confirmed a significant increase in the prize fund for 2013 and 2014 from £2.5m to £3m with the champion receiving £500,000.
Tom Brewster, Aberdeen's world silver medallist, begins his season against Finland's Aku Kauste at the Oslo Cup today, writes Lorin McDougall. Three other Scots teams are also in action on adjoining sheets. Kyle Smith and Glen Muirhead meet Frenchman Tony Angiboust and local skip Steffen Mellemseter respectively, while Grant Hardie opens against Sweden's former European champion Niklas Edin.
Eve Muirhead starts her campaign tomorrow against the Swede Ditte Kalsson, and will welcome the extra preparation time after travelling from Canada where she was runner-up in the Shorty Jenkins Classic in Ontario.
Scotland's new coach Derek Forsyth selected a squad of 18 without any surprise names for the first round of the World League, starting in Lousada early next week, writes Craig Madden. It will be his first competitive challenge in senior world hockey and it would a major set-back if the Scots failed to qualify for the next round as they are the highest ranked side in the event. They will face Morocco, Gibraltar and Portugal, all well down in the world rankings, and, as the top two qualify for the second round, the Scots should have that in the bag before their final tie against Italy.
The only change to the squad for the Celtic Cup in late June is the return of the East Grinstead defender Niall Stott, whose 120 Scotland caps will provide immense experience and stability to Forsyth's squad. Personal milestones on the cards include the captain Iain Scholefield and Gareth Hall both being in line to win their 100th caps, while Alan Forsyth and Chris Grassick should reach their half-century.
Squad. Scotland (FIH World League, Lousada, Sept 25-30) J Cachia (Sheffield), A Dick (Holcombe), I Scholefield (Qui Vive), M Bremner, A Forsyth, G Hall, C Nelson, W Marshall (Glynhill Kelburne), N Stott (East Grinstead), F Dunn, C Grassick (Surbiton), G McIntrye (Beeston), D Coultas (Durham Uni), I Moodie (Western Wildcats), K Bain (Hurley), W Adams (Royal Pingouin Nivellois), G Byers, R Stott (Grove Menzieshill)
John Higgins, the four-time world champion, staged a fightback to reach the second round of the Shanghai Masters, where he was joined by his compatriot Graeme Dott, writes Lorin McDougall. Higgins trailed the Welshman Jamie Jones 2-1 and was 33 points behind in frame four, but drew level and took all three frames after the mid-session interval to advance 5-2. Dott beat China's Jin Long by the same score after winning the opening three frames, and plays Stephen Lee who defeated Dumbarton qualifier Marcus Campbell 5-3.
Glasgow's Jamie Baker was forced to retired midway through the final set of his match against the seventh-seeded American Denis Kudla in the Izmir Cup in Turkey, writes Lorin McDougall. Kudla led 5-7, 6-3, 3-1 at the time.
Scotland's teams are celebrating after winning gold in the men's open and mixed open at the European Championships in Treviso, Italy, and bronze in the women's open and men's over-30 events, writes Gary Heatly. A total of 49 teams from 15 countries contested the five-day event.
In the men's open final, Scotland beat England 10-8, the turning point coming when Larry Irwin broke through and ran the length of the pitch for a touchdown. The mixed open final, also against England, was another close affair as Scotland won 9-6.
David Bartlett, the Scottish Touch Association's national squad director, said: "The European Championships have been a fantastic success for the Scotland squad. It is a credit to all the hard work put in by the players, coaches, team managers and the physios that we have done so well."