Colourfully clad golf fans turned Gullane into a sea of tartan when the official Pro-Am ahead of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open was transformed into the inaugural ‘Tartan Wednesday’.
The world’s leading professionals, amateurs, celebrities from stage, screen and TV, officials and spectators entered into the spirit of the campaign to turn Tartan Wednesday into a massive multi-coloured success in support of the tournament’s official charity, Mindroom.
Hundreds of spectators, bedecked in tartan hats, kilts, skirts, trousers and jackets, packed into the grandstand guarding the 18th green at Gullane’s Championship Course to add a splash of tartan to proceedings during the traditional tournament curtain-raiser.
Defending champion Justin Rose, American Ryan Palmer and Scotland’s Marc Warren – all wearing fetching Tartan Trews – took part in a competition to pick the most original and colourful tartan outfit on display, while actor Dougray Scott, comedian Rory Bremner and former rugby union legend Gavin Hastings all joined in the fun.
Mindroom Founder, Sophie Dow, helped the judging panel of professional golfers in selecting three year old Jessica Donaldson from Pentcaitland as the overall winner with Emma Rule (8) from Paisley second and eight month old Eloise McGregor third based on a raucous ‘cheer off’ by the crowd in the grandstand.
Tartan Wednesday was not all about wearing tartan. Serious fund-raising was also taking place to benefit Mindroom, an independent Scottish charity that supports the families of children and young people with learning difficulties.
By the conclusion of Tartan Wednesday, in the region of £20,000 was raised for the official charity, starting with the professionals donating their Pro-Am appearance fees, which was then kindly fund-matched by title sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management, whose Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert also participated by wearing tartan trews. A further donation from Aberdeen and fund-raising through the Pro-Am brought the total close to the £20,000 mark.
Professional and amateur players alike wore a splash of tartan during the day through the wearing of ‘awareness ribbons’. However a number of leading professionals were the extra mile by wearing tartan trews, creating a sea of colour inside and outside of the ropes.
Other pros donning the trews included Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington, Thomas Bjørn, Paul McGinley, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Anirban Lahiri, Russell Knox, Paul Lawrie, Stephen Gallacher and Pablo Larrazábal.
Sophie Dow commented: “It was wonderful to see the public response to the inaugural Tartan Wednesday. The golf course has been a sea of tartan today and we are so very grateful to the professional and amateur golfers, the celebrities and the officials and spectators for their fantastic support. Mindroom will benefit greatly from everyone’s generosity.”
Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “One of our favourite things about being title sponsor of the Scottish Open is working with a local deserving charity each year. This year Mindroom is no exception. The work they do for children with learning difficulties is tremendous and we are delighted to have contributed for every player wearing tartan trews here at Gullane today. Thanks to all the professionals, amateurs, caddies and spectators that joined in the fun with Tartan Wednesday today.”
Championship Director, Peter Adams, commented: “It was tremendous to see the response to the first Tartan Wednesday – a wonderful promotion for the Championship as well as raising awareness for Mindroom, a fantastic local cause which does fantastic work in Edinburgh and East Lothian.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation to Mindroom can do so by visiting the charity’s Just Giving page on line: https://www.justgiving.com/mindroom
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