Young gun Adam Scott returns to defend the title he won in record breaking fashion last year, besting the field by an amazing 10 strokes, finishing up at 26-under par. His 9-under-par 63 on the championships' final day shattered the previous event record by nine shots.
The 22-year-old Scott, who had his breakout season in 2002 with two victories, hopes a return to the sight of his greatest triumph will jump start a season that's so far without a title. His best finish was a third place at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship where he had a memorable dual with Tiger Woods in the semi-finals.
Joining Scott are two of the host country's favorite sons in Colin Montgomerie and 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie.
Monty, who opened well at last week's U.S. Open before eventually fading, is also looking for his first win in 2002. Coming into the year, the seven time Order of Merit winner has a streak of 10 consecutive years with at least one victory, dating back to 1993.
Monty's best finish of the year was a second place in his 2003 European debut at the Italian Open.
Lawrie, too, is winless on the season although he had strong showings at the Dunhill Championship (2nd) and the Benson and Hedges (3rd).
Paul Casey, who won the event in 2001, is another one of the younger set that's set to tee it up this week. Already with two victories in 2002, the first at the ANZ Championship and the second at the aforementioned Benson and Hedges, Casey trails only Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington on the 2003 European Order of Merit.
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