This week’s 2011 Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland is taking place at Archerfield Links in Dirleton, East Lothian, for the second consecutive year.

The three day Pro-Am style event will run from Thursday 18th – Saturday 20th August on the Fidra Links championship course.  

The event’s unique format will see 60 professional golfers playing alongside 60 amateur partners, which will once again include a number of celebrities such as Alan Hansen and Gavin Hastings.

The professionals will play 54-holes of Strokeplay, with no cut. However the format of play is better-ball for the team event and only the top 15 amateur teams will survive the 36-hole cut and contest the final round alongside the pros. The amateurs receive full handicap allowance.

Virginie Lagoutte-Clement of France returns as the defending champion of the official Ladies European Tour event, having recorded a final round of 71 in difficult conditions to earn her third Ladies European Tour title last year.

She finished a stroke ahead of South African Lee-Anne Pace and Englishwomen Trish Johnson and Sophie Walker and commented: “I am greatly looking forward to returning to Archerfield this year for the 2011 Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open. Although a challenging course, it is a pleasure to play and I will be looking to hopefully repeat my win of last year.”

The Course

The Archerfield Fidra Links in East Lothian opened in 2004 and is a premium golfing destination in Scotland.

The Fidra Links is the original of the two courses at Archerfield Links, and at just short of 7000 yards from the back tees this is a true test of any golfers’ skill. The first 11 holes of this par 72 course wind their way through pine trees giving the course a unique character amongst other courses in East Lothian, whilst keeping a traditional links feel, with deep menacing bunkers and fast running greens.

The course takes its name from Fidra Island which is reportedly the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island which he wrote sitting in the Marine Villa, one of the unique properties located on the Archerfield Estate.

Golf has been enjoyed on the Archerfield Estate for centuries, with the original 18 hole course designed by Ben Sayers. More recently the Fidra Links has been enjoyed by Major Champions including Sir Bob Charles, Gary Player, Ian Woosnam and Mike Weir.

Tom Younger of Archerfield said, “Archerfield Links is still in its infancy compared with many great courses, indeed this is the biggest event we have played host to so far. The Fidra Links is in superb condition and I am certain everyone playing and watching will enjoy this unique event.”

The Players

The tournament provides a wonderful opportunity for Scottish golf fans to watch the finest home grown talents with 10 home players in the field including the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open champion Catriona Matthew from nearby North Berwick.

Aberdeen Asset Management also sponsors Mhairi McKay, Lynn Kenny and Carly Booth, while both Lynn and Catriona are Archerfield Links golf ambassadors and will be joined by Vikki Laing, Krystle Caithness, Kylie Walker, Heather MacRae, Clare Queen and Gemma Webster to compete for the €220,000 prize fund.

Aside from the Scots, the tournament has attracted some fine international talent, with Johnson, Pace and Walker all hoping to go one place better this year, Melissa Reid aiming for her third LET victory and both Becky Brewerton and Diana Luna trying to shine in their quest for place on Europe’s Solheim Cup team.

This is the final event for European players to qualify for a spot, although the top four from the points’ list are already locked in. The next four places will qualify from the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, while Captain Alison Nicholas will announce her four picks on Monday August 29.