2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion and former R&A Foundation Scholar, Catriona Matthew

Matthew said: “It’s important for The R&A to support the LET. The Tour struggled a little for a few years and they stepped in and have helped. It’s important for ladies golf to have a good, strong Ladies European Tour to give the European amateurs something to aim for.”

As part of the continued cooperation between The R&A and the LET, 19-year-old Kelsey MacDonald from Stirling University, the women’s champion at this year’s R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament, which took place over St Andrews’ Castle and Eden courses, will receive a starting place in the Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield Links in August.

“I was lucky,” Matthew explained. “I went to Stirling University and I think I had one of the first R&A Scholarships which was obviously a great help to me. It let me go away to more amateur events and let me test my game against the best amateurs in the world.”

Since 1994, The R&A has provided funding for the Tour on an annual basis, with the contribution increasing year on year. Alexandra Armas was keen to acknowledge the significance of the grants to the Tour and its players.

“The amount of support we have received over the years is extraordinary, so we are obviously delighted. I think it’s been very important for us not only just in terms of financial stability but in allowing us to grow. To have the backing of The R&A as such a strong institution has given us some credibility, and it has helped cement the position of the women’s game in the world of golf. It’s been very important to us.”