The summer’s festival of golf continues this week with the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland at Archerfield Links, East Lothian, from Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September.
The free to attend event follows hot on the heels of a hugely historic first win on US soil for the European Team in The Solheim Cup, where they recorded the biggest ever margin of victory – 18-10 - at Colorado Golf Club.
One of the stars of the team, Catriona Matthew, who made the putt for the half point against Gerina Piller taking the European tally to 14 ½ points to win The Cup outright, will be back on home soil with The Solheim Cup at Archerfield.
After tying for 17th place at the CN Canadian Women’s Open on Sunday, mum-of-two Catriona tweeted: “Looking forward to couple days off at home and getting ready for #aberdeenLSO”
Matthew, who lives in nearby North Berwick, will be looking for her second win at the venue in three years having claimed the title in 2011, before fellow Scot Carly Booth took the honours in 2012.
“My goal this year is to win the tournament title back,” said Matthew. “I’ve had a pretty good year so far and have played well in the Majors, and have managed to move up to no.8 in the world rankings, so I’m feeling happy and confident.
“I love playing this tournament at Archerfield as I don’t get to play in Scotland very often so it’s a thrill to be able to do so in my national Open. It is a special event for me as I get to play every day and still stay at home with my family, and the home crowd support is fantastic.
“I was very pleased for Carly to win the title last year, as it kick-started what turned out to be a great year for her. I’m hoping that it could be a battle of the Scots again this year!”
The tournament field will include a record number of Scots – with eight in the field of 70 professional golfers. They are Matthew, Booth, Kylie Walker, Pamela Pretswell, Vikki Laing, Heather Macrae, Katy McNicoll and Kelsey MacDonald.
They are joined by several of the Ladies European Tour’s all-time greats including Trish Johnson, Melissa Reid, Lee-Anne Pace and Gwladys Nocera, who won the Scottish Ladies’ Open at The Carrick at Loch Lomond in 2008.
With Pace, Nocera, Ann-Kathrin Lindner, Holly Clyburn and Marianne Skarpnord, there are five of this year’s tournament champions competing in the three-day tournament that is likely to be another closely run event.
The unique pro-am format will see 70 amateurs tee it up alongside a limited field of 70 professionals on Friday 30 August, with the cut being made to 15 amateurs and 50 pros after the second day’s play.
Celebrity amateur contenders this year include ex-international rugby player Gavin Hastings and ex-international footballers Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish.
Current tournament champion, Carly Booth, said: “To win the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open last year was unbelievable; it was my maiden victory on Tour and for it to be at home in Scotland, with my family there, I couldn’t have asked for a better week to win. It was special.
“It gave me a huge boost in confidence to know that I can win on Tour, so it gave me the attitude and the confidence to go on and win again not long later. It was great, it helped me in so many ways, I had a rough first two years on Tour, my golf was never far away but mentally I was putting pressure on myself to perform which meant there was a lack of good results. Winning the Scottish after winning the LET Access event leading up to the tournament really helped me change my outlook and the way I was thinking about everything. Instead of thinking about making cuts, I was thinking about winning.
“I am very excited to be returning and I think I will have a lot more expectation than last year, so it will be a little bit different for me going in as a defending champion to when I had never won before, but it should be good and it should be a nice feeling so I am looking forward to it. I want to retain my title, that’s my only goal really. This year so far has been a tough year and I know that I just have to be patient and stay calm so hopefully I can play well at Archerfield.”
Follow the tournament on Twitter at @Aberdeenlso, and on Facebook at Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.