Scottish Women's Open can go from strength to strength, says Martin Gilbert

The Scottish Women’s Open is set to go from “strength to strength” under its new title sponsor, says Martin Gilbert, who played a key part in its status being elevated.

Stacey Lewis celebrates winning the last edition of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in 2020. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.

Mainly through Gilbert, a combination of 12 stagings of the tournament took place under the Aberdeen Asset Management and Aberdeen Standard Investments banners.

However, that run came to an end following last year’s edition at The Renaissance Club, with Trust Golf, part of the Thai-based TCT Corporation, stepping in as the new title sponsor for the 2021 event at a new venue, Dumbarnie Links in Fife, in August.

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That tournament will take place the week before the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie, as has been the case since Gilbert helped the Scottish Women’s Open secure a slot on the LPGA schedule.

“Yes, it was,” he replied to being asked if it had been slightly disappointing for Aberdeen Standard Investments’ support of the event to come to an end shortly after he stepped down as chairman last September.

“I spoke to Stephen Bird, who is the CEO, about it. I know he’s big into diversity as well, but needs must. There was a lot of budgetary pressure there and the men’s event had a longer contract, so that’s what drove it.

“But I’m glad to see they’ve got a new sponsor and I think the event will go from strength to strength again. The position it has in the calendar is fantastic.”

The same applies, of course, to the men’s version, which still has Aberdeen Standard Investments as the title sponsor for a third visit in a row for the Rolex Series event to The Renaissance Club in July.

Referring again to Bird and the company announcing its intention earlier this year to change its name to Abrdn, Gilbert said of that: “’m hoping he sees the advantage of the Scottish Open this year for their rebrand and I know they are planning a lot around that.”

American Stacey Lewis won the final edition of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, with other previous champions including Catriona Matthew and Carly Booth.

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