Memories of The 2014 Ryder Cup will be re-ignited next month when no fewer than 12 of the superstar golfers who took part at Gleneagles last year will be competing in Scotland, the Home of Golf, once again for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
After Gleneagles in September 2014, the focus switches to Gullane in July 2015 as the Scottish public will be treated to a feast of world-class entertainment from 9-12 July, spearheaded by no fewer than eight Europeans and four Americans who held a global audience spellbound last autumn.
Now, the unique Championship Course at Gullane in East Lothian – a composite of the spectacular links courses of No.1 and No2 – will host the £3.25 million tournament as a quartet of US Ryder Cup players engage in competition with eight of the victorious European team from Perthshire.
The line-up should whet the appetite of the public, who will be able to watch World Number One Rory McIlroy in action as he prepares to defend The Open Championship at St. Andrews the following week.
McIlroy will be joined at Gullane by defending champion Justin Rose, who captured the title at Royal Aberdeen last year, and other 2014 European Ryder Cup players in Thomas Bjørn, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Stephen Gallacher and the two latest big name Europeans to join the field, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter.
The United States’ contingent is led by the 2013 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open champion Phil Mickelson, who will join up with fellow American Ryder Cup colleagues, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Jimmy Walker, whose participation is also confirmed today. It will be an especially poignant return to East Lothian for Mickelson, the five-time Major Champion, who claimed The Open in nearby Muirfield.
The Ryder Cup captains will play their part as well with the victorious 2014 captain, Paul McGinley, also in the field along with his predecessor from 2012, the double Major winner José María Olazábal of Spain.
The star quality of the line-up is further augmented by the participation of former World Number One Luke Donald of England, who won the title in Inverness in 2011, and Jeev Milkha Singh from India, who followed Donald into the winner’s enclosure in 2012.
Major winners abound – McIlroy, Rose, Mickelson, McDowell, and Olazábal are joined by two great Scots in Sandy Lyle – a tournament invitee – and 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, while Korea’s first Asian Major winner, Y E Yang, will tee up at Gullane.
Scotland, the host nation, will be strongly represented by three-time European Tour champion Gallacher, ably supported by Colin Montgomerie, fresh from winning his third Senior Major title in the space of 13 months, Richie Ramsay, Marc Warren, Martin Laird and Russell Knox.
Gallacher commented: “Once again, the focus of the golfing world will be on Scotland next month for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open ahead of The Open Championship at St. Andrews the following week. It’s brilliant to see so many Major Champions, European Tour winners and Ryder Cup players from Europe and America in the field at Gullane. It’s a quality event that you don’t want to miss as a player and I am sure the spectators will turn out in big numbers to support Scotland’s national Open.”
In addition to Yang, the rest of the world is exceptionally well represented by Yang’s fellow countryman, Byeong-Hun An, the recent BMW PGA Champion, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Ryan Palmer, Ben Martin and Cameron Tringale from the United States, Miguel Angel Jiménez from Spain, Anirban Lahiri of India and Denmark’s Søren Kjeldsen, aiming for an Irish-Scottish ‘double’.
Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management said: “The fact that we have 12 of the stars from Gleneagles ready to take on this new composite course at Gullane is testament to the strength of this tournament, and how it has fast become one of the most highly regarded events on The European Tour Schedule. Aberdeen is in its fourth year of supporting this great tournament, and we are very pleased with how it has become a firm favourite with many of the players on both The European and US PGA Tours.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, commented: “With the success of the ‘best ever’ Ryder Cup at Gleneagles still fresh in the memory, we are delighted to welcome back so many of the players to Scotland, the Home of Golf, for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Scotland is proud to host the best events in world golf and with a terrific field and a stunning venue, the 2015 Scottish Open is shaping up to be yet another top-class showcase of golf in the country where the game began.”
Peter Adams, Championship Director of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, added: “We are delighted that no fewer than 12 of The Ryder Cup players who were involved in the contest at Gleneagles will be returning to Scotland next month. The combination of a world-class field and a unique links setting so close to the capital city of Edinburgh will create an unforgettable atmosphere and has all the potential to be of one of the very best Scottish Opens.”
The Scottish continent will be enhanced the week before the event after the conclusion of a 36-hole pre-qualifying tournament at North Berwick which will identify the last five places in the 156-man field.
The Scottish Government, through VisitScotland, has committed to provide support to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, through to at least 2020. The funding is part of Scotland’s ongoing commitment to the staging of major golf tournaments designed to promote Scotland as the Home of Golf and the Perfect Stage for major events. The golf industry in Scotland is worth more than £1 billion annually to the Scottish economy, of which golf events and golf tourism plays a major role.
Delivered by organisations including VisitScotland, Scottish Development International and Scottish Golf, the Scottish Government is committed to continuing to support the growth of the game in this country. This includes; supporting economic and business growth within the Scottish economy, driving increased participation in the sport and helping to nurture the next generation of Scottish golfing stars by linking the Scottish Open to the Clubgolf programme of junior golf activities.
A season ticket for the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open can be purchased for £70 in advance of the tournament, a saving of £10 on admission at the gate. Adult day tickets are currently priced at £30, rising to £35 on the gate.
Concessions (60 and over) start at £50 for a season ticket and £20 for any one day tickets, if purchased in advance. Under-16s accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge, and all car parking is also free. Entry to the Pro-Am on Wednesday is £12 in advance, and £15 on the day.
To book tickets, visit www.europeantour.com/tickets or call 0800 023 2557.
Corporate Hospitality Packages are also available, please contact Robert Gordon on 01344 840538 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a brochure.
Further information can also be found at www.aamscottishopen.com