The European Tour is in Scotland this week - not for the British Open next week, but the precursor in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Castle Stuart in Inverness hosts for the second year in a row. Luke Donald defends the title he won in a storm-shortened, 54-hole event from a year ago.
1. Luke Donald - The world No. 1 hasn't competed since the U.S. Open, where he missed the cut. Nevertheless, he is the landmark player in this field.
2. Lee Westwood - Hard not to give Westwood a look despite the potential knee and groin issue from the French Open. Was T-14 here a year ago and was in the top 10 at the U.S. Open.
3. Nicolas Colsaerts - Tying for third here a year ago, the bombing Belgian should be able to use his length to his advantage. Was T-11 at the French Open.
4. Padraig Harrington - Harrington has been great on both sides of the Atlantic of late, showing a return to form. He was T-14 here a year ago.
5. Matt Kuchar - Tough not to like Kuchar at any venue. The Players champion was T-10 here last year and T-8 in his last start at the Travelers Championship.
6. Graeme McDowell - A runner-up at the U.S. Open and top-17 finishes at Portrush and Paris show McDowell is on the right track on any track.
7. Ernie Els - Els was in it at the U.S. Open until the end, but hasn't played since. His form seems to have returned, so expect improvement on the T-25 from last year.
8. Justin Rose - Rose posted a ninth-place finish last week in France, his first start since the U.S. Open. He was T-14 at Castle Stuart in 2011.
9. George Coetzee - Another South African, Coetzee was T-3 here a year ago. He has been in the top 21 in three of his last five European Tour starts.
10. Phil Mickelson - Mickelson is all over the map right now in more ways than one. That may actually be an asset at the wide-open Castle Stuart.