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Scotland’s Summer of Golf shines on Ayrshire

Press Release   •   Jul 24, 2015 12:09 BST

Golf fans – who’ve barely had time to draw breath since Zach Johnson’s triumph at the 2015 Open at St Andrews – have shifted their attention from Scotland’s east coast to the south west as the first of two top women’s tournaments to be played in Scotland this summer tees off today (Friday 24 July).

The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open - one of the biggest events on the Ladies European Tour - is being played at Dundonald Links in North Ayrshire, just a few miles along the coast from Royal Troon in Scotland, the Home of Golf.

The tournament, which is supported by VisitScotland, is the latest in a series of nine top-class golf events across the country this year which are expected to attract more than 300,000 fans.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open occupies a coveted spot on the schedule, taking place the week before The RICOH Women’s British Open, which is at Trump Turnberry Resort from Thursday 30July to Sunday 2 August.

The event has a unique pro-am format; it will see 80 of the world’s leading female golfers teeing it up alongside 80 amateur golfers, including media personalities and celebrities.

Free for spectators to attend, the national tourism organisation hopes the tournament will be a major draw for all and highlights will be screened in more than 138 countries and approximately 496 million households around the world, showcasing this stunning region to potential visitors.

The 54-hole tournament will be played over three days, finishing on Sunday 26July, and is the only annual professional Ladies European Tour event in Scotland.

A combination of key factors – including the timing of the event during Scotland’s exciting and action-packed Summer of Golf, the increased prize money of €500,000, and the pristine quality of the Dundonald Links course - has drawn an impressive, strong field for The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

Players include Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen, the world’s second and seventh ranked women golfers respectively. Recent previous winners of the tournament include Catriona Matthew (2011 & 2013), Carly Booth (2012), Trish Johnson (2014), and Sophie Gustafson (2008).

This is the first time that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is being played at Dundonald Links. Before transferring to Ayrshire, the event was played at Archerfield Links in East Lothian from 2010 to 2014.

Having only opened some twelve years ago, Dundonald Links has quickly established a reputation as one of Scotland’s finest courses and gained recognition as one of Europe’s ‘must play’ links courses.

The course was designed by acclaimed golf architect Kyle Phillips, who also designed Kingsbarns near St Andrews and The Grove in Hertfordshire. Inspired by the great Ayrshire links courses of Royal Troon, Prestwick and Western Gailes, his aim at Dundonald Links was “to create a championship Ayrshire links that felt and played as though it was an old, rediscovered course”.

Malcolm Roughead OBE, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:

“I am delighted that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is being played at Dundonald Links, which is fantastic for the course and area. It is also wonderful that two of this summer’s major international golfing events are taking place in Ayrshire & Arran - a region which is not only renowned for the exceptional number of superb world-class courses, but also for its important golfing heritage.

“Scotland is the undisputed Home of Golf, and the world continues to marvel at our country’s stunning beauty and our unbeatable reputation for hosting the biggest and best events in the game. I wish all those playing this weekend, the very best of luck and would encourage everyone to make the journey to Dundonald Links for an exceptional weekend of golf and events.”

Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, added:

“We knew the prospect of playing Dundonald Links a week ahead of the Women’s British Open would be a nice draw for some of the top players as it mirrors what we do with the men’s Scottish Open the week before The Open Championship.

“As we continue to build our brand in globally we also continue to support all levels of the game and we hope this double header of tournaments raises the profile of women’s golf both here in the UK and internationally. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Dundonald Links this week.”

Bill Donald, General Manager, Loch Lomond Golf Club and Dundonald Links said:

“We are proud to be hosting this prestigious event and the team at Dundonald Links has been working tirelessly to ensure it is a success. There has been a lot of excitement in the lead up to the tournament and we hope golfing fans will join us to welcome the LET Professionals for what promises to be a great weekend of golf.”

The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish tournament was resurrected in 2007 after an 11-year hiatus as a direct commitment from national tourism organisation VisitScotland on the back of Scotland’s successful 2014 Ryder Cup bid.

VisitScotland is investing a total of just over £2 million into eight professional golf events in 2015. Following on from Scotland’s hosting of what is regarded as the “best-ever” Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014, the national tourism organisation is continuing to support golf tourism - which is worth an estimated £220m to the economy and supports around 4,400 jobs.

Scotland’s special ‘summer of golf’ teed off in June at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge at Spey Valley GC, Aviemore (when VisitScotland supported the event, one of the premier events on the European Challenge Tour, for the 10th year). The latest major professional event in the spectacular series was The Open Championship at St Andrews and next will be the RICOH Women’s British Open at Trump Turnberry.

For more information on the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, visit www.ladiesscottishopen.com or follow @AberdeenLSO on Twitter and Instagram for further details on the tournament.

Notes to Editors

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    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
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      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
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    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
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