Scottish Open retains traditional July slot

Luke Donald approaches the 18th green at Castle Stuart
Castle Stuart will host next year's Scottish Open

The European Tour has confirmed the Scottish Open will retain its customary position on the golf calendar.

The tournament's future was cast in doubt following the withdrawal of main sponsor Barclays.

This year's tournament was moved to Castle Stuart after being held at Loch Lomond from 1996 and the links course near Inverness will be the 2012 venue.

"We are looking forward to going back, " European Tour chief operating officer Keith Waters told BBC Radio Scotland.

"It's one of the strongest dates we have [July 12-15], with the obvious attraction of The Open the following week.

"It's tremendous for the Scottish Open and we're very confident we'll have a very good tournament.

World number one Luke Donald won this season's event, reduced to 54 holes because of poor weather.

"We were very happy with the event this year, despite the inclement weather," added Waters.

"I was with Phil Mickelson in Singapore last week and he stated his intention to come back and play. He thought it was ideal preparation for The Open Championship.

"And, of course, we're hoping Luke Donald will come back and defend his title."

Waters revealed that talks were underway with potential sponsors and hopes to match the £3m total prize money on offer this year.

"It's our target to go with the same prize fund," he continued.

"It's difficult to say how confident you are until people actually commit but we are very encouraged by the number of people we are talking to.

"We have interest from a number of international companies."