Dundonald Links has put itself firmly on the international championship golf map following the successful staging of two professional tour events within a few weeks of each other.
Despite facing the worst of what the Scottish summer could throw at the links in terms of inclement weather, Dundonald received praise from players, fans and officials alike as it welcomed the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Ladies’ Scottish Open in quick succession.
Just under 60,000 fans visited the Ayrshire Links over the two weeks as Spain’s Rafael Cabrero-Bello came through a play-off with Englishman Callum Shinkwin to secure a win in the prestigious Rolex Series and then Mi Hyang Lee achieved a one-shot win over Australian Karrie Webb and fellow Korean Mi Jung Hur in the women’s championship.
The successful staging of both events at Dundonald has paved the way for a similar double header next year at Gullane and showed that an outstanding links could stand up to the wear and tear of staging two world class events within a fortnight of each other.
A delighted Cabrera-Bello commented, “Golf in Scotland is huge and we always feel great support from the local crowd. I think the venue has proven to be a very exciting venue. I said always that I loved it off the tee. It’s just become one of the special places in the world for me.”
Michael Wood, the Ladies European Tour Tournament Director for the AAM Ladies’ Scottish Open said, “Dundonald Links was the perfect venue to stage both major tournaments. Being a links course, the natural, firm and relatively flat terrain ensured that the course was every bit as well presented for our women’s event.
“Even with the vast number of rounds played over both tournaments and with over an inch of rain during the men’s event and closer to an inch and a half of rain during our tournament, the course stood up fantastically well and huge credit goes to Frank Clarkson, the Golf Course Superintendent, and his green staff who worked tirelessly to ensure that the course was kept to tournament standard both during and in-between both tournaments.”
Dundonald is working on a marketing programme to capitalise on the success of the two events and encourage fans who attended and watched the events on television to follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s most renowned men’s and women’s players and play the Kyle-Phillips-designed links.
Bill Donald, General Manager at Dundonald Links, said, “It was a privilege to be asked to host both Scottish Opens and hugely exciting for the team here to see so the top players in the men’s and women’s games competing at Dundonald. We are proud that the course stood up so well and provided an excellent test for the professionals. It highlights how much Dundonald has to offer as one of Scotland’s finest modern links and we will be working hard to attract more golfing visitors on the back of such a historic milestone for the course.”
Reflecting with particular praise of the Ladies’ performance Kyle Phillips, Golf Course Designer, said: “I was impressed in general with the high level of play and imagination I saw from the ladies playing at Dundonald – particularly under such difficult weather conditions during the week. Certainly, winner Mi Hyang Lee proved to be a worthy champion. Scoring 10 under par over the weekend was an amazing feat.”
Dundonald Links www.dundonaldlinks.com