Scottish Open: Russell Knox eyes win on his home debut

Russell Knox is one of only two Scots currently in the world's top 100 golfers
Russell Knox is one of only two Scots currently in the world's top 100 golfers

Scot Russell Knox believes he can claim victory when he plays on home soil for the first time as a professional this week.

The 29-year-old, who was born in Inverness and is now based in the USA, is relishing his outing at the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen.

"My year's been good and my game's improved steadily so yes, I'm going to be quietly confident," said Knox.

"It would be nice to win, that's why I'm here, not to make up the numbers."

Knox has shot up the world rankings over the past few years, from 398th in June 2013, to his current position of 99th.

Stephen Gallacher (37th) is the only other Scot currently in the top 100.

And Knox revealed he has been looking forward to teeing up in front of Scottish fans for some time.

"It's going to be the highlight of my year," he added. "I would have loved to have played the last couple of years but just wasn't able to.

"When I got the word I had an invite it's been highlighted on my schedule and it'll be a tournament, regardless of how I play, I'll never forget - my debut as a pro in Scotland.

"It's great to come back to Scotland first and foremost, and links golf is what I played growing up. I love it, it's my favourite type of golf. Royal Aberdeen is in perfect condition and I can't wait to give it a crack.

"Patience is an extremely important word and the guy who wins this tournament will have most of it."

Knox, who revealed the thing he misses most about Scotland is prawn cocktail crisps, and bacon, added: "If I play well it's going to be a huge bonus and if I don't, well, I'll just eat more bacon."

Royal Aberdeen is hosting the Scottish Open for the first time, and a star-studded field will be testing themselves against the famous links.

Twenty three players from the world's top 60 are taking part, including defending champion Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy.

Richie Ramsay is struggling with an injury ahead of the Scottish Open at his home course of Royal Aberdeen
Richie Ramsay is struggling with injury ahead of the Scottish Open at his home course Royal Aberdeen

And they will be hoping to emulate American Mickelson, who won the tournament at Castle Stuart last year and went on to win The Open at Muirfield the following week.

Richie Ramsay is another of the Scottish hopefuls, but he has revealed an injury is hampering his bid for glory at his home course.

"It's in my collar bone, hitting into the shot is a problem as you're taking the hit on your left side," he said.

"I'll have to wait and see how things progress over the next 24 to 48 hours. If it was another tournament I wouldn't be here, I'd be home already. But it's not another tournament and it's not another course, so I've just got to hope it reacts well to physio and that I can tee it up on Thursday.

"To see the best players in the world here, playing the golf course I was brought up on, it's a great feeling and you want to have the opportunity to compete against them."