How totally and utterly ironic. In a week to forget for Scottish golf due to having no representation in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai – the first time that had happened – we end up in the money.
To the tune, in fact, of nearly £3 million – the total increase in prize-money across the men’s and women’s Scottish Opens next year. Both sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, the boost for the men’s event is through it being part of the European Tour’s new Rolex Series, a collection of events carrying a minimum £5.6m purse, while in the case of the women’s equivalent its profile is set to rocket by becoming the first co-sanctioned event between the LET and the LPGA. The significant increases for both events is exciting, as is the fact they’ll take place at the same venue – Dundonald Links in Ayrshire – over a three-week period. All that needs to happen now is for the Scottish golfing public to give these tournaments the support they deserve, something, sadly, that hasn’t been happening on occasions in recent years. Both the European Tour and the LET/LPGA have sent out a clear signal of how important they see the Scottish Opens and that should be a wee wake-up call to those who have perhaps become a bit complacent about top-level tournaments constantly being staged in the sport’s cradle.