Trish Johnson, the winner of last year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield Links in East Lothian, believes that this year’s course at Dundonald Links will be another kind of test and the winning score could be level par.
“It was pretty crazy out there today,” she said, on a blustery preview day on the west coast of Scotland.
“We were discussing what sort of score would be good around here. I’m not talking about this weather, I’m talking about a normal wind, which is probably a two club wind. If you shoot level par I think you’ll be laughing because it’s one of the most unforgiving links courses I think I’ve ever seen.”
Johnson, a 29-year, life member of the Ladies European Tour with 22 career titles around the world, continued: “If you look at somewhere like St Andrews, if it blows a gale, you can still score, because the greens are 50 yards wide. Here, they are tiny and they have run offs everywhere, so it’s a manmade links course and it’s extremely difficult. Lytham and places like that can be pretty brutal as well but the greens here are so undulating that none of them are flat, everything goes down.”
The Kyle Philips designed course opened 12 years ago in 2003 and Johnson continued: “The first hole, even though it’s straight downwind, there’s a small area in the middle of the green that’s flat and then both sides go down. It’s a very difficult golf course and I think the amateurs are going to have a tough time. That could be an understatement. This course even without any wind is pretty tricky.”
The highest winning score on the Ladies European Tour over four rounds was 292, four over par, by Raquel Carriedo at the 2002 Tenerife Ladies Open at Golf del Sur which was matched by Sherri Steinhauer’s winning total at the Weetabix Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in 1998. However, the Aberdeen Asset Management is a limited field tournament played over three rounds.