This week, for the first time in history, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will be co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA, be hosted at the same venue as the men’s Scottish Open and will boast the highest prize fund on the LET, outside the Majors, with the 156-strong player field contesting for US$1.5m and a first prize of US$225,000.

The event has been sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour since 2007, when it was played at The Carrick on Loch Lomond. Aberdeen Asset Management joined as the title sponsor in 2008, before the event moved to Archerfield Links for five years from 2010-2014.

Dundonald Links hosted the event in 2015 and 2016, when Australian Rebecca Artis and Isabelle Boineau from France won with scores of six-under-par and 11-under-par for 54 holes respectively.

Last year, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall posted a course-record 64 in the third and final round. That was matched by Rafa Cabrera Bello in the fourth round of the men’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links a fortnight ago. Cabrera Bello posted a 72-hole total of 13-under for the tournament and a bogey from Callum Shinkwin on the last meant that the tournament went to extra holes. The Spaniard made birdie on the 18th to clinch the title.

This year, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is also event is a four-round event and kicks off a superb two weeks of links golf in Scotland. The back-to-back stretch of events echoes the successful strategy employed by the Men’s Scottish Open taking place the week before The Open – an approach proven to be a competitive advantage for those players competing in both Championships. The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is also a key element of Scotland’s commitments to the staging of The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

THREE SPOTS AVAILABLE IN THE RICOH WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN

There are three spots available in next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open for the leading three LET Members, not already exempt, in this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

DOWN TO THE WIRE FOR SOLHEIM

As the ‘Host Tournament’ for the next Solheim Cup in 2019, the event will offer European players finishing inside the top 10 almost double the number of Solheim Cup points of a standard Ranking Event in 2017, with 70 points available for the winner, as opposed to the usual 40 points. That means that there could be some significant moves on the Ranking.

Only two tournaments remain before the 2017 Solheim Cup returns to U.S. soil at Des Moines Golf & Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 18-20, 2017. The complete European and U.S. teams will be named by their respective captains, Annika Sorenstam and Juli Inkster, after the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open on Sunday 6th August.

As of the July 24 standings, the top four European players are separated by just 26.25 points. The top four players from the LET points list and the next top four players from the World Rankings qualify automatically. At present, they are:

1 Georgia Hall 107.25 pts
2 Florentyna Parker 103.50 pts
3 Mel Reid 89.25 pts
4 Anna Nordqvist 81.00 pts
5 Carlota Ciganda WR
6 Suzann Pettersen WR
7 Charley Hull WR
8 Karine Icher WR

On the LPGA U.S. list, the points for the final spots are very close with spots seven through 12 separated by a mere 30.5 points. The top-8 players in the standings automatically qualify for the Solheim Cup.

7 Brittany Lang 247
7 Michelle Wie 247
9 Brittany Lincicome 237
10 Angela Stanford 232
11 Austin Ernst 227
12 Lizette Salas 216.5

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT LADIES SCOTTISH OPEN:
1 – This marks the first year that the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will be co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA
2 – Catriona Matthew has captured a pair of Ladies Scottish Open wins when it was an LET event in 2013 and 2011
81 – The field has also combined for 81 Solheim Cup appearances

WHO’S IN THE FIELD?
Past Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open Winners (5):
Isabelle Boineau (2016), Trish Johnson (2014), Catriona Matthew (2013, 2011), Carly Booth (2012), Gwladys Nocera (2008)

2017 LET Winners (3)
Melissa Reid (Oates Vic Open), Klara Spilkova (Lalla Meryem Cup), Florentyna Parker (Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open).

2017 LPGA Tour Winners (9):
Inbee Park (HSBC Women’s Champions), So Yeon Ryu (ANA Inspiration and Walmart NW Arkansas Championship), Cristie Kerr (LOTTE Championship), Haru Nomura (Volunteers of America Texas Shootout), Sei Young Kim (Lorena Ochoa Matchplay), Shanshan Feng (Volvik Championship), In-Kyung Kim (ShopRite LPGA Classic, Marathon Classic), Ariya Jutanugarn (Manulife LPGA Classic), Katherine Kirk (Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic)

LOCAL CONNECTIONS
There are nine Scottish Players in the Field
• Catriona Matthew
• Kylie Henry
• Pamela Prestswell
• Vikki Laing
• Kelsey MacDonald
• Gemma Dryburgh
• Carly Booth
• Sally Watson
• Michele Thomson