First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland will be rescheduled and take a prime spot in the Ladies European Tour calendar from next year.
Staged at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, it will immediately precede the Women’s British Open from 2015, mirroring the current set up on The Men’s European Tour. The unique agreement, brokered by tournament promoters WSM Communications, has created a successful strategy for the development of the championship and will result in an increased prize fund to €500,000 in a three year deal, to 2017.
The tournament has grown in stature since it was established in 2007 thanks to funding from Aberdeen Asset Management and EventScotland, which signalled the start of a strong partnership in support of golf events in Scotland.
The First Minister said:
“The Scottish Open now attracts the world’s top players as the challenge of the links game is viewed as the perfect preparation for the following week’s Open Championship. In fact, we can now claim that the past four winners, including Rory McIlory this year, have all taken part in the Scottish Open the week before – Scotland is the key to Open glory!
“The movement of the Ladies Scottish Open will place the tournament in a similar position and raises the profile of the women’s game, which is currently flourishing in Scotland. Catriona Matthew, the defending Ladies’ Scottish Open champion, continues to act as a wonderful ambassador for our game, Kylie Walker is the leading Scot in Europe, and Carly Booth, Vikki Laing and Pamela Pretswell continue to light up the game.
“I am confident that the test of Dundonald Links will prove to be a huge draw for more top female golfers to come to Scotland and hone their links game.”
Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive Officer of The Ladies European Tour said:
"The Ladies European Tour is delighted to secure the renewed commitment for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland, which now establishes itself as one of the main events on our International schedule, through to 2017. It is a testament to the strength of the partnership we have developed with Aberdeen Asset Management, EventScotland and WSM Communications and the commitment to the development of women's golf in general."
Kylie Walker, two-time LET winner this season, who was present at the announcement made today finished:
“The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open’s unique format is enjoyed by all the players so I am delighted with today’s announcement. To be able to play at Dundonald just a week ahead of the Women’s British Open is the perfect links preparation for all the players. The tournament is continuing to grow in stature so I can’t wait to play my part in the future of the event that is a permanent fixture on my schedule.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland and EventScotland, which manages Scotland’s investment in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, said: “VisitScotland and Aberdeen Asset Management have developed a strong partnership in support of Scottish golf events and were both at the heart of establishing the Ladies Scottish Open in 2007. The exciting announcement that the event will be moving to a prime spot in the Ladies European Tour calendar and a new venue will help take the event to the next level.”