The scene is set for a spectacular weekend of golf at Dundonald Links – with large crowds expected as the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open returns to the West of Scotland for the second consecutive year.
The first star players tee off in pursuit of glory at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at 07:30 on Friday morning with the last putt expected to drop at 14:00 on Sunday.
Along with five Major victories, the final field for this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open has no less than 135 Ladies European Tour titles between them, all who will be competing for a prize fund of €500,000 in Scotland – the ‘Home of Golf’.
Scotland’s very own, two-time Scottish Open champion, Catriona Matthew is one of several star names taking part, including Spaniard Carlota Ciganda, Swede Caroline Hedwall and a handful of former winners including Laura Davies, Trish Johnson, Gwladys Nocera and Carly Booth.
An international flavour will be on display in the form of American trio, Cheyenne Woods Beth Allen and Paige Spiranac, who will also be joined by no fewer than 16 players set to represent their countries in this summer’s Rio Olympics.
In form Dane Nanna Koerstz Madsen the recent winner of the Tipsport Golf Masters will be looking to make it back-to-back wins, but will also face stiff competition from a host of young Brits vying for the Scottish Open title. Pamela Pretswell, Kylie Walker, Amy Boulden, Florentyna Parker and Kelsey MacDonald amongst others, are all here to spoil the party.
2015 Solheim Cup captain, Carin Koch is in action at Dundonald this week and is joined by no fewer than 11 different Solheim Cup players with 46 appearances between them. Finally keep an eye out for Liz Young who will be playing this week whilst being seven months pregnant.
Bill Donald, General Manager of Dundonald Links and Loch Lomond Golf Club, said: “The stage is set for a fantastic event. We have one of the strongest fields assembled on the Ladies European Tour this year and the buzz about the place is incredible.
“We can’t wait to get started and see these world class players compete in this wonderful setting. With fans able to tune into live coverage on Sky Sports, plus to an international audience, it is a chance to showcase Scotland, and North Ayrshire in particular.”
A number of celebrities will add a sprinkle of glamour to the amateur side of the draw with sporting stars such as Alan Hansen and Rory Lawson competing against famous names in TV and film. Golf fanatic and BBC newsreader Naga Munchetty will be here along with movie star Dougray Scott and former Boyzone and Westlife members, Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden – all set to do battle in North Ayrshire.
Councillor Willie Gibson, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: "The course at Dundonald is again in great condition and the team have done a fantastic job getting everything ready for what promises to be another brilliant event. These are really exciting times for the club and North Ayrshire with the Men's Scottish Open also coming to Dundonald next year.
"Last year we were going into the unknown a little bit but the event really did exceed our expectations. It was fantastic seeing so many families watching the golf and taking part in the many off-course activities. We're sure this year will be every bit as successful."
The 80 amateurs will join the 80 professionals over the course of the first two rounds in the unique Pro-Am event. The leading 60 (plus ties) Ladies European Tour professionals will qualify through to play the final 18 holes of the tournament. There will be no amateurs playing in the final round.
Entertainment will be on offer in the public village with interactive golf activities for kids and adults and tuition from PGA professionals. There will also be other activities, including a food fair, cookery demonstrations, arts and crafts workshops, birds of prey, an observatory planetarium as well as lots of prizes to be won at the Beatson Cancer Charity stand – the official charity this year.
Paul Bush OBE VisitScotland’s Director of Events said: “Sporting events like the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links are a terrific way to showcase Scotland as a major tourism and events destination by providing significant international marketing opportunities through global TV and media coverage.
“Events are also a vital part of the local visitor economy with the ripple effect of event tourism felt in shops, hotels, restaurants and a wide variety of other businesses across the host region and beyond. Golf tourism is worth £220m to the country annually and hosting high profile events like the Ladies Scottish Open here in the west of Scotland serves to further enhance Scotland’s reputation as the home of golf.”
The 2016 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open takes place at Dundonald Links on the West Coast of Scotland in North Ayrshire, from 22-24 July. The event now occupies a prime spot on the Ladies European Tour calendar, sitting just one week ahead of the Women's British Open and offers a prize fund of €500,000.
The event is FREE to attend with fun for all the family.
For more information visit www.ladiesscottishopen.com and follow @AberdeenLSO #AberdeenLSO
photo Getty Images