ABERDEEN Asset Management and the Scottish Government today announced they have extended their backing of the Scottish Open until 2017.
After three years at Castle Stuart, the event will be staged at Royal Aberdeen next year before moving around some of the country’s top links courses, with a likely return to Castle Stuart in 2016.
The prize fund will increase from its current level of £3million to £3.25million in 2015 and 2016 and to £3.5million in 2017.
Graeme McDowell recently criticised Castle Stuart as too one dimensional and not “strong enough” to host a tournament the week before the Open Championship.
The former US Open champion called for it to be played on “a phenomenal links course” and the European Tour’s director of international championships Peter Adams said players would be “consulted quite widely” over possible future venues.
“We have time on our side and can go and look at courses and can also talk to the players,” Adams said.
“We can use that time wisely. I think there is a will to move the tournament around geographically but the decision has not been reached.”
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond said: “I am delighted that the future of the Scottish Open has been secured up until at least 2017. This fantastic event has become a popular fixture on the European Tour and provides ideal preparation for some of the world’s best players before the following week’s Open Championship.
“I’m proud of the Scottish Government’s continuing support for this event which brings significant benefits to the whole of Scotland, both in terms of tourism and television exposure, while also providing a multi-million pound boost to the economy.”