THE staging of the Scottish Open is expected to boost the economy by an estimated £6 million, according to the First Minister.
Royal Aberdeen will host the championship this week, as the prestigious four-day event shifts from Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness where it has been played since 2011.
US star Phil Mickelson will be looking to defend his title from Thursday, while Aberdeen’s own Paul Lawrie seeks a win on home turf.
Sir Nick Faldo, the most successful British golfer in history, will also compete in the tournament which precedes The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club next week.
Golf fans from across the world are expected to travel to the north east for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, generating around £6 million for the economy.
The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September is expected to bring in an estimated £100 million.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “With a top-class field, an amazing course and wonderful scenery, this tournament is one that is circled on the calendars of players and fans alike.
“It’s being beamed to a global audience and is the first regular European Tour competition to be given prime-time coverage on US network television, cementing Aberdeen’s position on the “golfing map”.
“The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is going from strength to strength, with spectator numbers up a quarter since 2011, and has firmly established itself as one of the European Tour’s flagship events.
“Hosting the tournament is brilliant news for our local businesses, restaurants and hotels, with Aberdeen and the wider area seeing most of the estimated £6 million of spending around the Scottish Open. That’s great news for the region, for golf and for the Scottish economy.”
Mr Salmond said the latest figures show the golf industry is worth £1.1 billion to Scotland’s economy.