Marquee names build major mojo at Scottish Open


We’ve heard this a million times, because it’s become a go-to phrase for every top-tier professional golfer in the world.

They all want to peak four times per year.

Those times would be the major championships, of course, and with the year’s third one starting in just a few days at Royal Liverpool, a handful of these top-tier players appear to be living up to their goal.

Justin Rose won the Scottish Open with a final-round, 6-under 65 on Sunday, his second consecutive victory entering The Open Championship. We can argue a week from now whether Rose actually peaked too soon, but it’s impossible to contend that he isn’t peaking right now.

He isn’t the only one leaving Royal Aberdeen with a smile on his face, though.

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Rickie Fowler is quickly becoming a master at major championship-peaking, with strong finishes in the week before each of the year’s first two majors, then top-five results at the Masters and U.S. Open. He posted scores of 68-65 to finish in a share of ninth place and once again shows some positive form entering a major.

Same goes for Phil Mickelson, who matched that final-round 65 and finished T-11 as defending champion. While last year’s Scottish Open victory might have provided more confidence entering The Open, this result shouldn’t exactly leave him pessimistic. Two eagles and 15 birdies will afford plenty of hope in his second straight title defense this coming week.

Rory McIlroy should be similarly pleased with his most recent performance, another freaky Friday notwithstanding. He posted scores of 64-78-68-67 to finish T-14 at Royal Aberdeen. McIlroy is hoping he’s peaking in time to contend for an Open title for the first time, as even his T-3 four years ago finished eight shots off the pace.

Same goes for Luke Donald, who owns an admittedly spotty Open record, with two top-fives but two other missed cuts in the last five years. He posted a final-round 66 on Sunday to finish in a share of 16th place and – like his fellow top-tier players – hope he’s peaking at the right time.