Talks are set to start soon between the event’s three partners to secure the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open through to 2025 in its prized pre-Open Championship slot, writes Martin Dempster.
The current deal involving Aberdeen Standard Investments, the Scottish Government and the European Tour is set to expire in 2020, by which time nine events will have been staged through a partnership that was formed after Barclays’ lengthy run as title sponsor came to an end.
“This event is jewel of the crown for us all and we couldn’t do it without each other,” said Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s director of events, as he attended a media briefing at Gullane along with Martin Gilbert, co-chief executive of Aberdeen Standard Investments.
“The support of both Aberdeen Standard Investments and the Scottish Government is fundamental. It is also really important that we retain this. It would be quite nice to have a legacy of this confirmed through to 2025, which we will hopefully work on over the next few months.”
At a similar briefing 12 months ago, Gilbert hinted that a return to the northeast might be on the cards in 2019, with Royal Aberdeen – the venue in 2014 – or Cruden Bay the two most likely contenders.
It now seems as though Royal Aberdeen is not being considered due to the players having “found it just a bit too tricky” when Justin Rose won that event four years ago, while Cruden Bay can’t handle the infrastructure for an event of this magnitude.
“We’d love to go up north again, but against that you lose a bit in crowds,” said Gilbert, with The Renaissance Club in East Lothian having got the 2019 event.