As Scotland awaits a decision this week to determine whether its submission to host The 2019 Solheim Cup is successful, stars from across the world of golf, sport and media have given their backing to the bid.
The Scottish bid, which proposes staging the biennial event at The Gleneagles Hotel in 2019, looks to bring the event back to Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years and a decision is expected to be made by the Ladies European Tour Board of Directors on Thursday 29 October.
It has already received backing from top names in women’s golf from both sides of the Atlantic with American duo Paula Creamer and Cheyenne Woods joining proud Scots Catriona Matthew, Kylie Walker and Carly Booth in voicing their support.
Now the bid has received further backing from a plethora of famous names across the golfing, sporting and media spectrum, each of whom recorded a personal message in support of Scotland’s bid to send to the Ladies European Tour.
Those backing the bid include Scotland’s leading male golfers Stephen Gallacher, Paul Lawrie and Marc Warren; former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance; Fed Cup captain Judy Murray; Scotland rugby captain Greig Laidlaw; Olympic Curling medallist Eve Muirhead; Olympic Gymnastics medallist Louis Smith; Scottish women’s football captain Gemma Fay as well as sports broadcasters Dougie Donnelly, Hazel Irvine, Sarah Stirk and Cara Robinson.
Irvine, a long-time presenter for the BBC’s golf coverage, said: “I am hugely excited about our bid to host the Solheim Cup for a third time. I was there at Dalmahoy in Edinburgh for the 1992 match. It was the very first time that Europe won the Cup and it remains one of my most precious memories in almost 30 years of working in golf.
“How appropriate and exciting that moment should be in Scotland, the Home of Golf. Scotland has played a significant role in events since that time in 1992 and helped to raise the profile of the women's game. Who can forget the impact, profile and support that women's golf enjoyed when the Ricoh Women's British Open came to St Andrews for the first time in 2007 and again in 2013?
“Moreover, The 2014 Ryder Cup demonstrated, beyond doubt, that Gleneagles is a fabulous venue for a trans-continental golf match. It produced a world-class event last year and did so with great class and grace. I strongly believe the crowds would flock back to Perthshire in their droves to witness the best women players from Europe and the United States go head to head in 2019.”
Torrance, a vice captain to Paul McGinley in the European Team at Gleneagles in 2014, added: “We all saw the terrific spectacle of The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the magnificent support from the Scottish crowds there. It’s time we got the Solheim Cup back to Scotland to give the women the chance to represent their countries in the Home of Golf.”
The Scottish bid, which is led by VisitScotland and supported by The Scottish Government, proposes staging the event on the world-renowned PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, which hosted The Ryder Cup in 2014. There is also a bid to stage the event at Bro Hoff Slott in Sweden.
Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We have delivered a strong and comprehensive bid to stage The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, a tried and trusted venue with great experience of hosting major events.
“We are looking forward to the decision on Thursday, after which we hope to be working towards staging the best-ever Solheim Cup in Scotland in 2019.”