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Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will play in the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen as he put the finishing touches to his preparations for the Open Championship at Hoylake this summer.
Phil Mickelson proved last year that both championships can be won in consecutive weeks after he triumphed at Castle Stuart and then Muirfield, and McIlroy looks to have taken inspiration from the American.
The Northern Irishman played at Loch Lomond in both 2008 and 2009 but has left it off the schedule in the past few years as he felt it would hit his chances of Open glory.
However, the world number six now feels four days at Royal Aberdeen the week before will be the perfect preparation.
“To play competitive golf on a links course will be great preparation for The Open the next week,” said McIlroy.
“It’ll be my first time playing at Royal Aberdeen. I believe it’s a great links with lots of golfing history. I’m really looking forward to the challenge it will present.
“Phil winning the double last year made me realise that the Scottish Open is a more than good preparation for The Open and he showed it was possible to win both weeks.”
McIlroy is in good form as he finished 2013 with a victory in the Australian Open and has started 2014 by finishing joint runner-up alongside Mickelson in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
He then carded an opening-round 63 on his way to finishing ninth at the Dubai Desert Classic.