Henrik Stenson signs up for Scottish Open at Dundonald Links

Henrik Stenson won The Open in dramatic fashion last year

Henrik Stenson will prepare for his Open defence at July’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.

The Ayrshire course, hosting the event for the first time, is only six miles away from Troon, the scene of the Swede’s incredible triumph last year.

“Obviously it is going to make it a special week for me,” said the 40-year-old Ryder Cup star.

“It’s a tournament which has helped me prepare really well for The Open and I’m looking forward to the new venue.”

In a memorable duel with Phil Mickleson, Stenson shot a wonderful final round 63 to land his first major at Troon, setting a championship record score of 20 under par.

“I played the Scottish Open in 2013 and went on to finish second to Phil in The Open the following week,” he explained.

“Then I missed Scotland for a couple of years and didn’t do that well the following week.

“I played last year the week before Troon and we all know how that turned out, so playing in the Scottish Open definitely helps to fine tune the links game.”

Of the last seven Open winners, only Zach Johnson in 2015 did not warm up in the Scottish Open.

Royal Birkdale will stage The Open for a 10th time from 20-23 July, with the tournament returning to Scotland in 2018, with Carnoustie the venue.

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