Donald, King of the Castle

Three days of play at the Barclays Scottish Open was all Luke Donald needed to finish 18-under par and collect the winner’s cheque and the newly commissioned trophy on Sunday evening.

A challenging week for everyone involved climaxed with a round of 63 for Donald, winning by four shots having donned tartan trousers for his final round to show his ancestral connections with The Home of Golf.

First Minister Alex Salmond visited Castle Stuart on Sunday to enjoy the closing round of Scotland's national open and meet with some of the players and officials from the European Tour. He said, “When you have adversity it’s how you overcome it and I’d just like to compliment everybody who pitched in yesterday [Saturday]. You saw the pictures of the first hole clearly yesterday, an extraordinary landslip, and to actually get that back into playing condition in 24hours is a magnificent effort.”

The Players were extremely positive about the new venue and the quality of the course before and after the deluge of rain it had to cope with....

Luke Donald: “My dad is very proud of being Scottish and his heritage. All that certainly adds to the win.”

Phil Mickelson: “This has been a great week. This is a great golf course, one of the best I’ve seen. It’s a great place to play the week before the British Open, but it’s a great event on its own too. I really like this course and I am looking forward to coming here next year. I love the golf course. I think it’s terrific and I can’t think of a place I’d rather play.”

Colin Montgomerie: “I’ve always enjoyed playing in Scotland, especially a new venue like this, a lovely links course, a beautiful place. All credit to everybody for having the vision to bring it up here.”

The spectators, some 51,000 of them who had travelled from far and wide were also extremely impressed...

Mr & Mrs Wood visiting from Herefordshire: “We only come to Scotland to watch golf. Anywhere else just doesn’t compare or have the same atmosphere. It is a wonderful venue and it was the fact it was being played on a different course that attracted us to come up here. It’s The Home of Golf so it’s the place to come and watch the best players in the world.”

The stage is set for the Barclays Scottish Open to return to the Highlands in 2012 and you can guarantee a host of world-class players and their fans will be making the trip north.

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