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How Scottish Open Champions Performed at The Open

By: Golfshake Editor | Tue 06 Jul 2021 | Comments

For decades, the Scottish Open has typically enjoyed a prime spot on the schedule in July, immediately preceding the Open Championship, with the 1986 edition (won by David Feherty in late August) being one outlier.

Consequently, the winner of this prestigious event draws attention before game's oldest major, but success in the European Tour showpiece has rarely translated into a notable result in the Open - Phil Mickelson remains the triumphant exception.

Much of the reasoning behind taking the tournament around Scotland to links-style layouts was that it would offer appropriate competitive preparation for the world's best, a perspective that was rewarded by Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, and Henrik Stenson, who all secured the Claret Jug after playing in the Scottish Open.

But a winner following that moment up with a strong week in the Open has been rare. We take a look at each of the previous Scottish Open champions - with the exception of Feherty and Thomas Bjorn (whose 1996 Loch Lomond success came in September and was later grandfathered into the Scottish Open) - and describe how they then performed at the biggest championship of them all.

Phil Mickelson


Scottish Open Winner: Bernd Wiesberger

Open Championship Finish: T-32nd

The first winner of the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, the talented Austrian then crossed to Royal Portrush, where he finished in a tie for 32nd.


Scottish Open Winner: Brandon Stone

Open Championship Finish: T-61st

Shooting a staggering 60 to win at Gullane, the young South African then made the journey north to Carnoustie, where he made the cut and played all four rounds at the most formidable of tests.


Scottish Open Winner: Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Open Championship Finish: T-4th

Winning a playoff against Callum Shinkwin at Dundonald Links, the Spaniard enjoyed an excellent week at Royal Birkdale, ultimately finishing seven shots back of champion Jordan Spieth.


Scottish Open Winner: Alex Noren

Open Championship Finish: T-46th

Beating Tyrrell Hatton by a shot at Castle Stuart, Noren was then left to admire the exploits of his compatriot Henrik Stenson, who defeated Phil Mickelson in a legendary duel at Royal Troon.


Rickie Fowler

Scottish Open Winner: Rickie Fowler

Open Championship Finish: T-30th

The American's win at Gullane was superb and seemed likely to set up a charge for the Open at St Andrews, but the former runner-up never challenged at the Home of Golf.


Scottish Open Winner: Justin Rose

Open Championship Finish: T-23rd

Winner at Royal Aberdeen, many would have then favoured the Englishman at the Open, but he never threatened as Rory McIlroy got his hands on the Claret Jug.


Scottish Open Winner: Phil Mickelson

Open Championship Finish: 1st

Producing a remarkable fortnight, the left-hander first overcame Branden Grace to win the Scottish Open, seven days before he shot a brilliant 66 to further cement his legendary status and win the Open Championship at Muirfield.


Scottish Open Winner: Jeev Milkha Singh

Open Championship Finish: T-69th

Defeating Francesco Molinari in a playoff in the Highlands, the Indian then finished way down the field at Royal Lytham, but he will always remember the previous week in Scotland.


Scottish Open Winner: Luke Donald

Open Championship Finish: Missed Cut

Then world number one, Luke Donald won the first Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, before surprisingly missing the halfway cut at Royal St George's.


Scottish Open Winner: Edoardo Molinari

Open Championship Finish: T-27th

The Italian won the final Scottish Open at Loch Lomond before enjoying a solid week at St Andrews. He later won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, earning his spot (alongside brother Francesco) on the Ryder Cup team.


Martin Kaymer

Scottish Open Winner: Martin Kaymer

Open Championship Finish: T-34th

At this point (alongside Rory McIlroy) the most exciting young talent in Europe, Kaymer won the Scottish Open and then played all four rounds of an extraordinary championship at Turnberry. 


Scottish Open Winner: Graeme McDowell

Open Championship Finish: T-19th

McDowell's win at Loch Lomond was his most significant to date, and he followed that up with a solid championship in difficult conditions at Royal Birkdale.


Scottish Open Winner: Gregory Havret

Open Championship Finish: Missed Cut

The Frenchman - who loved a win in Scotland - defeated Phil Mickelson in a playoff at Loch Lomond, but like the revered American, he also missed the cut a week later at Carnoustie.


Scottish Open Winner: Johan Edfors

Open Championship Finish: Missed Cut

The Swede was a surprise victor at Loch Lomond, but his Open Championship debut at Royal Liverpool ended in disappointment after rounds of 75 and 74.


Scottish Open Winner: Tim Clark

Open Championship Finish: T-23rd

The South African won at Loch Lomond and then vetured across the country to St Andrews, where he sat six shots behind Tiger Woods after three rounds before falling away on the Sunday.


Scottish Open Winner: Thomas Levet

Open Championship Finish: T-5th

The Frenchman edged Michael Campbell by a stroke at Loch Lomond, before enjoying a strong run at Royal Troon, at one point leading the championship, before finishing five shots behind Todd Hamilton and Ernie Els.


Ernie Els

Scottish Open Winner: Ernie Els

Open Championship Finish: T-18th

Ernie was a winner again at Loch Lomond, the reigning Champion Golfer, but his title defence never really got going at Sandwich a week later.


Scottish Open Winner: Eduardo Romero

Open Championship Finish: Missed Cut

Days shy of his 48th birthday, Romero won at Loch Lomond, but the challenges of Muirfield proved a step too far, as the Argentine golfer missed the cut after rounds of 72 and 73.


Scottish Open Winner: Retief Goosen

Open Championship Finish: T-13th

New US Open champion Retief Goosen continued his fine form at Loch Lomond, but didn't threaten the leaders at Royal Lytham, eventually finishing in a more than solid tie for 13th.


Scottish Open Winner: Ernie Els

Open Championship Finish: T-2nd

The big South African triumphed at Loch Lomond, but he could only stand back and admire Tiger Woods at St Andrews, ultimately finishing eight shots behind the dominant American.


Scottish Open Winner: Colin Montgomerie

Open Championship Finish: T-15th

Montgomerie was among the favourites at Carnoustie after his success at Loch Lomond, but it was another Scot, Paul Lawrie, who unforgettably defied the odds to win the Open.


Scottish Open Winner: Lee Westwood

Open Championship Finish: T-64th

The Englishman continued his rise at Loch Lomond, but he didn't take that form into the Open at Royal Birkdale, ultimately finishing way down the leaderboard.


Scottish Open Winner: Tom Lehman

Open Championship Finish: T-24th

Reigning Champion Golfer, Tom Lehman won the Gulfstream Loch Lomond World Invitational, which stood in for the Scottish Open. His defence of the Claret Jug ended in a respectable tie for 24th.


Scottish Open Winner: Ian Woosnam

Open Championship Finish: Missed Cut

Woosnam's third Scottish Open triumph was at Carnoustie, but his following week at the 125th Open was disappointing, missing the cut at Lytham after rounds of 75 and 72.


Scottish Open Winner: Wayne Riley

Open Championship Finish: T-88th

Finishing two ahead of Nick Faldo at Carnoustie, Riley then made the short journey across to St Andrews, where he was one of a staggering 103 players to make the halfway cut.


Scottish Open Winner: Carl Mason

Open Championship Finish: T-67th

Later known for his exploits on the Senior Tour, Carl Mason won the final Scottish Open at Gleneagles, following that performance with a made cut at Turnberry.


Scottish Open Winner: Jesper Parnevik

Open Championship Finish: T-21st

The Swede won in Scotland and then headed down to Royal St George's, where he enjoyed a solid four days, finishing in a tie for 21st, with future jousts for the Claret Jug to come.


Scottish Open Winner: Peter O'Malley

Open Championship Finish: T-68th

Another Aussie, O'Malley denied Colin Montgomerie at Gleneagles, but didn't threaten the leaders at Muirfield, finishing way down the field at the Open Championship.


Scottish Open Winner: Craig Parry

Open Championship Finish: 8th

The Australian won at Gleneagles and then contended at Royal Birkdale, but ultimately finished six shots behind compatriot Ian Baker-Finch who secured the Claret Jug.


Ian Woosnam

Scottish Open Winner: Ian Woosnam

Open Championship Finish: T-4th

It was Woosie's time again at the Glen, and he was a fixture on the leaderboard at St Andrews the following week as Nick Faldo showcased a masterclass at the Home of Golf. However, the Welshman's own major moment at Augusta National was approaching.


Scottish Open Winner: Michael Allen

Open Championship Finish: T-52nd

Winning in Perthshire on the King's Course, the American (who later won the Senior PGA Championship) then played all four rounds at Royal Troon in the Open, finishing in a tie for 52nd.


Scottish Open Winner: Barry Lane

Open Championship Finish: Missed Cut

After claiming his maiden European Tour victory at Gleneagles, Lane headed down to Royal Lytham & St Annes in a confident mood, but the Englishman finished near bottom of the field after rounds of 78 and 85.


Scottish Open Winner: Ian Woosnam

Open Championship Finish: T-8th

Securing his first Scottish Open title at Gleneagles, Ian Woosnam then produced a fine display at Muirfield, finishing five strokes behind new Champion Golfer Nick Faldo.


Scottish Open Winner: Graham Marsh

Open Championship Finish: T-31st

Prolific across the world, the Australian comfortably won the Scottish Open at St Andrews, but he didn't threaten at Troon a fortnight later, finishing in a tie for 31st in Ayrshire.


Scottish Open Winner: Neil Coles

Open Championship Finish: Missed Cut

A Ryder Cup stalwart, Coles defeated Brian Huggett in a playoff to win the inaugural Scottish Open at Downfield. But two weeks later, the Englishman disappointed at Muirfield, where he shot rounds of 76, 74 and 78 to miss the 54-hole cut in the Open.

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