Cape Town - World No 21 Rafa Cabrera Bello will return to Scotland, the home of golf, on July
12-15 to defend his Scottish Open title.
Spaniard will tee it up at Gullane Golf Club in a bid to recapture the silver
Quaich trophy after securing his third European Tour title - and his first ever
play-off win - in some style last year when he overcame Englishman Callum
33-year-old had posted a stunning course-record 64 to get to 13 under par on
the final day at Dundonald Links, and a bogey from Shinkwin on the last meant
the contest went to extra holes.
Cabrera Bello then hit a superb second shot
into the 18th to set up a tournament-clinching birdie and join the illustrious
ranks of Rolex Series winners.
win set up a strong end to the season, which included a tied fourth place
finish at The Open the following week and tied fifth at the final World Golf
Championship event of the season in Shanghai.
has continued that form into 2018, posting three top ten finishes, including
tied third at the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this month, to sit in fourth
position in the Race to Dubai Rankings.
Bello, who went undefeated in his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine National in
2016, previously enjoyed victory at the 2009 Austrian Golf Open and 2012 Dubai Desert Classic, and went on to post a further six second place finishes
before sealing the biggest win of his career in Scotland.
year the Scottish Open once again takes its place on the European Tour's Rolex
Series, a premium category of tournaments on the Race to Dubai, each with a
minimum prize fund of $7million.
The 36th staging of the
internationally renowned event will be played in its traditional slot in the
week before The 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links.
Bello said: "I can't wait to return to defend my title at the Scottish Open.
victory last year was a special one, and it was the first time I had won in a
play-off too. Over the last round I was in contention but chasing the entire
day, so it was a nice feeling to win like that.
love playing links golf and always enjoy the Scottish Open. In the past few
years it has been in a great position just before The Open and has prepared us
in the best way. The win last year really helped with my confidence going into
of the events that I managed to play on the Rolex Series last year had very
strong fields, were played on excellent competitive courses and had very good
winners - of course I say that modestly. I can't wait to play more Rolex Series
events this year, and particularly defending my title at Gullane."
Scottish Open is returning to Gullane for the first time since 2015, when
American Rickie Fowler took the title.