A NEW slot and increase in prize-money is set to elevate the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open to one of the flagship events on the Ladies European Tour.
Mirroring the men’s game, as from next year it will be held the week before the Women’s British Open, meaning an exciting double-header for Ayrshire. Dundonald Links is set to stage the Ladies Scottish Open on 24-26 July, with Turnberry then taking centre stage for the Women’s Open – its first big event since the resort was bought by Donald Trump.
The Ladies Scottish Open has been held in both May and August since it was restored to the schedule through AAM’s backing, with this year’s event taking place at Archerfield Links at the end of next week. In a bid to raise its profile, however, the sponsors and promoters, WSM Communications, have struck a three-year deal that will see the event occupy the prime spot on the LET calendar. The prize fund has been increased from £200,000 to £400,000, making it the third biggest event in European ladies’ golf behind the British Open and the Evian Masters.
“Today is an important landmark for Aberdeen Asset Management and for Scottish golf,” said AAM’s chief investment officer, Anne Richards, of the company’s support of both the men’s and women’s national Opens. “As a company, we are a strong believer in equality and our support of these events demonstrates our commitment to both the men’s and women’s game alike.”
Dundonald Links, the sister course of Loch Lomond, has been touted as a venue for the men’s Scottish Open in 2017, so next year’s event could be seen as a dry run. It means Scotland is set to stage a month-long festival of golf next July, with the two ladies’ events coming after the Scottish Open at Gullane and the Open Championship at St Andrews.
Kylie Walker, a two-times winner on the Ladies European Tour this season, said: “Aberdeen Asset Management have been great supporters of Scottish golf for a good few years now and this is going to make the Scottish Open our biggest event outwith the majors on this side of the Atlantic, which is terrific.”