LYDIA Ko, the world No 1, has handed the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open a huge boost by confirming she’ll use next month’s event at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire as preparation for the following week’s British Women’s Open at Turnberry.
“I’ve heard great things about the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, so I’m extremely excited to be playing in it,” said Ko, who, at the age of 17, became the youngest player of either gender to reach the game’s pinnacle earlier this year.
“Scotland is the home of golf and somewhere I would like to play more often. To play Dundonald Links ahead of the Ricoh Women’s British Open will be a great fortnight of golf and I can’t wait to play in front of the Scottish fans.”
Born in South Korea but a New Zealand citizen, Ko has been rewriting the record books over the past few years, winning twice on the LPGA Tour as an amateur then continuing to rack up titles since turning professional around 18 months ago.
“As world no 1, it’s important for me to play on the international circuit amongst the world’s best players and on the world’s best courses,” she added. “Links golf always makes things more interesting and with the field being assembled for the Ladies Scottish Open it will be a tough test, but I’m looking forward to it and acclimatising to links golf ahead of Turnberry the following week.”
Ko’s commitment to the admission-free event on 24-26 July means that both the men’s and women’s Scottish Opens will feature world No 1s this year as Rory McIlroy is spearheading the former at Gullane a fortnight earlier.
“That is a real testament to how far the tournaments have progressed and how they have become must-play events on the schedules of the world’s best players,” said Aberdeen Asset Management CEO Martin Gilbert.
Ko will spearhead a field that is also set to feature world No 5 Suzann Pettersen as well as rising English star Charley Hull and Cheyenne Woods, Tiger’s niece.
“Scotland is proud to host the best events in world golf,” said Paul Bush, director of events at VisitScotland. “And, with a terrific field and a fantastic new venue, the 2015 Ladies Scottish Open is shaping up to be one of the best instalments of the event yet.”
Bill Donald, general manager of Loch Lomond Golf Club and Dundonald Links, added: “We are delighted that Lydia Ko will be playing in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. It is a superb endorsement for the event.”