|The Ailsa Course at Turnberry|
Turnberry’s famous Ailsa course was announced today as the venue for the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open for only the second time in the Championship’s history.
Turnberry, the Luxury Collection Resort in Ayrshire and host of the Open Championship on four occasions, was the scene of the Women’s British Open Championship in 2002 when Australia’s Karrie Webb won this prestigious title for a third time. The stunning location of the Ailsa course makes Turnberry one of the most scenic golf destinations in the world.
A top-quality links, the Ailsa course was the scene of the 1977 Open Championship and provided the stage for the famous ‘Duel in the Sun’. In brilliant sunshine, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson went head-to-head over the final two days, with Watson eventually finishing a shot clear of his rival — and 11 shots ahead of the rest of the field. Turnberry also hosted the Open in 1986 (Greg Norman) 1994 (Nick Price) and more recently in 2009 (Stewart Cink).
Webb’s triumph at Turnberry in 2002 saw her open with a stunning first round 66 and close the tournament out with the same score. She came from three strokes back in the final round to clinch victory with a flawless final round over the Ailsa Course. In winning, she became the first player to win the Championship three times.
Webb, who has won over 50 international titles in her illustrious career including seven Major titles and is currently ranked World Number 6 on the Official Rolex Rankings, commented, “I am really pleased to hear that the Ricoh Women’s British Open will be returning to Turnberry. I have wonderful memories of winning the 2002 Championship and I can’t wait to return in 2015. Turnberry is one of the best courses I have played so I hope I can continue on from where I left off in 2002!
Webb continued, “All the players enjoyed the experience of competing on the famous Ailsa course last time round so I think this news will be very enthusiastically received by everyone.”
Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO said, “We are delighted to be returning to Turnberry which has welcomed the Championship back with great enthusiasm. This decision continues the Championship Committee’s commitment to ensuring that the world’s best women players showcase their talents on the world’s best golf courses in years to come. As the history books show, Turnberry provides a wonderful stage for Major golf and I am sure we will see another dramatic Championship in 2015. We are grateful to EventScotland for its continued support and to South Ayrshire Council for recognising the value to business and tourism in hosting a Championship of this quality.”
Jordi Tarrida, General Manager, Turnberry Resort, added, “We are very proud of our reputation as one of the world’s most renowned golf resorts and our history as a Major Championship venue. Hosting the Women’s British Open in 2002 was a fantastic experience so we are delighted to be working once again with the LGU and IMG and bringing the 2015 Championship back to Turnberry.”
The 2015 event will see the Championship played in Scotland, the Home of Golf, for the third time in five years following Carnoustie in 2011 and St Andrews this year. Scotland’s regular hosting of the event is part of a 10-year investment by EventScotland which will see the Championship played in the Home of Golf every second year until 2019.
Paul Bush, chief operating officer of EventScotland added, “It has long been our desire to see the Ricoh Women’s British Open Championship played one some of Scotland’s best and most iconic courses and Turnberry undoubtedly falls into that category. Scotland is the Home of Golf and it is fitting that one of the most prestigious titles in women’s golf will return again in 2015, allowing us to showcase our unrivalled golf tourism credentials to the world. The LGU, IMG and Ricoh have done a fantastic job in growing the event since we began our partnership with them back in 2010 and everyone in Scotland is looking forward to welcoming the players, media and guests to Scotland in 2015.”
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council concluded, “Ayrshire lends itself to providing golf courses to meet the needs of all levels of golfers including world class professionals. South Ayrshire has a unique and historic place on the international golfing map, with two current Open championship courses, as well as being the home of Open championship golf, having staged the first ever event at Prestwick in 1860. We are delighted to be the destination partner for the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2015 at Turnberry’s Ailsa course and look forward to welcoming the players, officials and spectators to what, I know will be another fabulous staging of this wonderful championship. It will provide a further opportunity to showcase globally the great golf tourism destination we have here in Ayrshire and Arran, and bring a boost to our local economy. We are committed to providing support for this golf tournament and ones in the future.”
Prior to Turnberry, The Royal Birkdale Golf Club will host its sixth Women’s British Open in 2014, continuing a strong association with the event that goes back to 1982 when Marta Figueras-Dotti took home the coveted title. The Championship returned in 1986 when England’s Laura Davies triumphed. Sophie Gustafson won in 2000 and five years later Korea’s Jeong Jang claimed her first professional victory by defeating Gustafson and another Korean, Young Kim, by four shots on 16-under par 272. In 2010 Yani Tseng, Number One on the Rolex Rankings, came out on top.
The 2014 Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played 10 – 13 July and is showcased, as always, on BBC Television and around the world.
The Ricoh Women’s British Open was founded by the LGU in 1976 and is staged in conjunction with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001.
Ricoh, the leading technology provider of Managed Document Services and Production Printing, has been the title sponsor of the Ricoh Women’s British Open since 2007.
About the Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU):
Founded in 1893, the LGU is the encompassing body for ladies’ amateur golf in Great Britain & Ireland. The LGU Executive Council includes representatives of ladies’ golf’s national governing bodies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Operational activities are undertaken by a wholly owned subsidiary, LGU Championships Limited (“LGUCL”), which in particular owns and runs the Ricoh Women’s British Open, founded by the LGU in 1976 and one of the five Major Tournaments for Professional Women golfers. LGUCL also has responsibility for running British Amateur Championships and Home International events, and preparing the Great Britain & Ireland teams for representative matches, such as the Curtis Cup and the Vagliano Trophy. Further information about the LGU is available on www.lgu.org.
Ricoh is a global technology company specialising in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group, operates in more than 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2013, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 1,924 billion yen (approx.20 billion USD).
The majority of the company’s revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialised industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.
Under its corporate tagline, imagine. change. Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees. For further information, please visit www.ricoh.com/about/
Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland
Turnberry is located on the stunning Ayrshire coast, offering elevated views over the Irish Sea, Ailsa Craig and mountains of Arran and Kintyre. First opened in 1906 as the world’s first golf resort, Turnberry quickly established itself as the premier destination for social and sporting events. The five red star resort underwent a multi-million pound renovation programme prior to hosting the 2009 Open on its legendary Ailsa golf course and becoming part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts much acclaimed Luxury Collection. The luxuriously appointed guest rooms include four lavish ocean-view suites and offer a perfect blend of Edwardian tradition and timeless design. The iconic Ailsa Course is currently ranked as Britain’s number one golf course by leading golf publications and consistently rated within the world’s best. For golfers, there is also the Championship Kintyre Course and the Arran Course, as well as the Turnberry Performance Academy. Turnberry is the perfect setting for food lovers, with a choice of unique dining experiences, including the signature restaurant 1906, led by Executive Chef Justin Galea, which offers classic dishes with a modern twist and a unique Chef’s Table experience. There is also the elegant Grand Tea Lounge, Ailsa Bar & Lounge, Duel in the Sun bar and Tappie Toorie restaurant overlooking the links golf courses and sea beyond. Turnberry has a well-established reputation for top class meeting and events facilities, specialising in bespoke boardroom experiences. There is also a luxurious spa offering a range of ESPA treatments. The onsite Outdoor Activity Centre offers guests a variety of distinguished outdoor activities including quad biking, archery and off-road driving. For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.com/turnberry
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with 3,500 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in India, Brazil, China and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews. EventScotland is part of VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland.
About Ayrshire & Arran Tourism
Ayrshire & Arran Tourism is an industry-led initiative, operating as a shared service jointly resourced by East, North and South Ayrshire Councils, as well as VisitScotland. The team works in partnership with industry to deliver the Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Strategy 2012-2017, growing the volume and value of the tourism industry across the region. Golf tourism is a major strand of this strategic approach as the area aims to capitalise on its world-class golf offer that spans from its internationally renowned Open Championship courses with unique heritage, through to relaxed, accessible holiday golf experiences set in fabulous landscapes. http://www.ayrshire-arran.org/our-work/golf