THE Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club is under way, with the world’s elite golfers gracing the East Lothian links for the fourth time.

The course has hosted the last three Scottish Open events, but this year proves to be the biggest yet as the first time co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour and a record winner’s purse of £1.44m.

Nine of the top-10 golfers are set to play in Scotland’s premier golfing event, with names such as Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler leading a star-studded line-up.

The golf got under way at 7.15am this morning, with South African Justin Harding and Spaniard Adrian Otaegui hitting their opening tee shots off the 1st, while Americans Troy Merritt and Sean Crocker got going from the 10th alongside Italian Nino Bertasio.

Eyes will turn to some blockbuster groupings which will see Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm teeing off from the 10th shortly after 8.05am, and 1.15pm, when US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick joins the USA’s Collin Morikawa and Will Zalatoris from the 1st.

East Lothian’s own Grant Forrest is also in the field and will get his golf under way from the 10th tee at 8.45am alongside former Ryder Cup player Keegan Bradley and Swede Alexander Björk.

Other Scots in the field include Oban’s Bob Macintyre, playing with last year’s champion Min Woo Lee and Xander Schauffele.

Richie Ramsay, David Law, Connor Syme, Ewen Ferguson, Russell Knox, Stephen Gallacher and Marc Warren will also be teeing up today.

The course has also seen some changes from last year’s event, with new bunkers, hollows and dunes incorporated into the design to toughen it up for the world’s best.

Jamie Aitken, course manager, explained: “It’s just about making them think – that they can’t blast it anywhere they want and get the second shot to the green.”

The highest ranked Scot, Bob MacIntyre was also full of praise for the event and its new layout.

He said: “DP World Tour, Scottish Open, done an unbelievable job in getting everything and pushing everything forward.

“When we first came here, it was worrying when obviously we had the poor weather and wind and scores skyrocketed.

“They put so much time and effort into having a change on golf course.

“This year, it’s a different golf course, and looking at the weather, it’s the same.

“This golf tournament, it’s one of the best.”

The Courier will be bringing coverage from Renaissance throughout the weekend – be sure to check our website and social media for stories, live blogs and interviews.