The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland has been given a significant boost with the news that title sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management and the Scottish Government have jointly committed their future to the tournament, through to 2017.
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. The agreement also sees the tournament move to Dundonald Links on the West coast of Scotland having had its home at Archerfield Links, on the East coast since 2010.
Also included in the arrangement is a new date for the established event with a strong player field expected to do battle in the unique pro-am event in Ayrshire from 24-26 July, 2015 – just one week ahead of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, taking place at nearby Turnberry. To be sandwiched in-between both the Men’s and Women’s Opens is a strong accolade for the Ladies Scottish Open that now emulates the Men’s Scottish Open that sits just one week ahead of The Open Championship, giving players the ideal links preparation ahead of the Major.
Alex Salmond MSP, the First Minister of Scotland, said: “The Men’s 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 situation and raises the profile of the women’s game, which is currently in rude health 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, Pamela Pretswell and Vikki Laing 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.”
Anne Richards, CIO of Aberdeen Asset Management said: “Today is an important landmark for Aberdeen Asset Management and for Scottish Golf. Everyone at Aberdeen is thrilled to continue our sponsorship of the Ladies’ Scottish Open. As a company we are strong believers in equality and our support of the Scottish Open events demonstrates our commitment to both the men and women’s game alike. Our association with these tournaments helps to raise our brand profile not just in the UK but internationally, including the USA, a market which is a key focus for us as our business grows. We look forward to welcoming some of the world’s top players to Dundonald next year.”
Ivan Khodabakhsh, CEO 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, 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."
Bill Donald, General Manager of Loch Lomond Golf Club and Dundonald Links said: “Both Loch Lomond and Dundonald Links have experience of hosting professional and amateur tournaments and we are delighted to play host to the high profile Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. This is a tremendous achievement for Dundonald Links and we look forward to extending a very warm welcome to everyone involved with the tournament.
Andrew White, Chief Executive of tournament promoters, WSM, said: “Today is a key milestone in the history of the Ladies Scottish Open, moving this tournament onto a new level. A huge thanks must go to Aberdeen Asset Management and the Scottish Government for their increased investment in women’s golf in Scotland. A big thanks must also go to those at Archerfield Links who have been fantastic hosts of the Championship since 2010.
“We are now looking forward to our first visit to Dundonald for the Championship next July, thus responding to the wishes of the players by ensuring that the tournament takes place on a links course the week before The Women’s British Open. We look forward to welcoming the world’s leading golfers to a new links venue in July as we build on the new era of the tournament.”
The 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open’s unique pro-am format sees 72 amateurs and celebrities tee it up alongside a limited field of 72 of the top female golfers in the world. The 54-hole tournament is played over three days and is the only annual professional Ladies European Tour event in Scotland. Archerfield play host to the event from 29 – 31 August, 2014.
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.”
Top photograph caption: From (l-r) Harry Owen – Director WSM, Ivan Khodabakhsh - CEO of The Ladies European Tour, Kylie Walker – LET professional, First Minister Alex Salmond, Anne Richards – CIO of Aberdeen Asset Management, Guy Redford – Director of Golf at Dundonald Links, Mike Cantlay – Chairman of Visit Scotland
Photograph caption: First Minister Alex Salmond and Kylie Walker