Gilbert hails groundbreaking Ladies Scottish Open deal

ABERDEEN Asset Management Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert, has hailed a groundbreaking deal that will see Dundonald LInks host both the ladies’ and men’s Scottish Open tournaments.

The co-sanctioning agreement between the LET and LPGA will see the Ladies Scottish Open offer the biggest prize fund on the Ladies European Tour outside the Majors with $1.5m up for grabs. Organisers say the event will go from a Pro-Am format to an individual stroke-play competition with a top quality field.

Mr Gilbert said: “This is huge stepping stone for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open to rank alongside the biggest tournaments across both tours. It has been our vision to grow the event to a point where it becomes a staple on the world’s best players’ calendars whilst continuing to expose the Aberdeen brand in key markets. This deal, with live TV on both the Golf Channel and Sky Sports will continue to do that and we would like to thank all of those that have come together to make it happen.”

With a full 156-strong player field, the enhanced 72-hole Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will sit on both the LET and LPGA schedules.

Organisers say it underlines Scotland’s commitment to growing women’s golf before the country hosts the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

Taking place the week before the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns in 2017, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open from July 27-30 follows the same successful strategy of the men’s Scottish Open taking place the week before The Open which it is believed gives a competitive advantage to players competing in both championships.

Paul Bush, Director of Events with VisitScotland, said: “Scotland is known around the world as the home of golf and host of the world’s greatest golf events so it is entirely fitting that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open stands proudly alongside these world-class tournaments on both the LET and the LPGA. The huge success of the men’s Scottish Open taking place the week before The Open provided the inspiration for us to achieve similar success with the Ladies Scottish Open ahead of the Ricoh Women’s British Open and these outstanding two weeks will now rival anything the world of golf has to offer. This historic agreement underlines Scotland’s commitments to women’s golf as we look forward to The 2019 Solheim Cup and I would like to pay tribute to both the LET and the LPGA, alongside our partners at Aberdeen Asset Management, for the vision to make this a reality.”

Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour, said: “The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is one of our most highly anticipated events and we are pleased to partner with VisitScotland, our fantastic tournament sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management and the LPGA to enable our Members to compete for a significantly increased prize fund. With world class women’s golf from across the continents, the event will generate huge interest, beyond the borders of the golf community, which will help to set the perfect stage for The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.”

LPGA Commissioner, Mike Whan, added: “Given Scotland’s rich history in golf, I am excited that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will provide an opportunity for the best players in the world to spend two consecutive weeks in Scotland. This tournament will be a great lead-in to the RICOH Women’s British Open, and give our global fans a great two-week viewing experience from the UK. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with the LET, Aberdeen Asset Management, and VisitScotland to bring the world’s leading professional women golfers to our Scottish fans and spectators.”