Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew, British No. 1 Charley Hull and Michelle Wie also set to compete on 26-29 July
Michele Thomson spoke to media on Tuesday as part of a joint-promotion of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, which will both be played at Gullane Golf Club this July.
Major champion Michelle Wie, defending champion Mi Hyang Lee, Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew and British No. 1 Charley Hull, will join Thomson in the $1.5 million 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club, on 26 – 29 July.
The championship will be co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA for a second year running, with a prize fund of $1.5 million.
For the first time in Ladies Scottish Open history, the championship heads to the East Lothian links, where the Men’s Scottish Open, which will be hosted two weeks earlier.
Talking about playing in Scotland and the co-sanctioning agreement between the LET and LPGA, Thomson said: “It’s amazing to have the chance to play such a big tournament in my home country and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world.”
Fellow Scot Catriona Matthew, who will head down the road from her home in North Berwick with a wealth of Ladies Scottish Open experience, having made seven consecutive appearances including victories in 2011 and 2013, is also looking forward to the first hosting at Gullane Golf Club.
Matthew said: “I can’t wait to play the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at Gullane this year; it’s so exciting to play a course that I know so well and a luxury to be able to play such a big event and stay at my home in North Berwick. The fans in Scotland are always so loud and I’m looking forward to seeing a few familiar faces in the crowd.”
Wie is looking to capitalise on early season form, having returned to the winners’ circle in March at the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Currently ranked 18th in the Rolex Rankings, Wie returns to Scotland for her second Scottish Open appearance, having finished 19th in Dundonald last year, before a career-high third place finish at the Ricoh Women’s British Open the following week.
Commenting on her return to Scotland, Wie said, “I love coming over to play golf in Scotland, the fans are always amazing and it’s the ‘Home of Golf’ after all, so you always feel a sense of excitement being here. Last year was very testing conditions and I managed to learn a lot about my game having to hit a variety of different shots. The tournament proved to be the perfect preparation for me heading in to the Ricoh Women’s British Open where I had my best-ever finish. Hopefully I can continue to learn more this year.”
Commenting on the field, Martin Gilbert, co-CEO of Aberdeen Standard Investments, said, “We are delighted to bring the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open to a new venue this year at Gullane Golf Club and excited with the initial uptake of world-class players committing their participation in the event. Michelle Wie is one of golf’s biggest names and along with Scotland’s most successful female golfer, Catriona Matthew and UK No.1 Charley Hull, we believe we have a strong foundation to build another world-class field in partnership with Visit Scotland, the LET and the LPGA.”
Paul Bush, Director of Events with VisitScotland, said: “In Scotland we are proud to host the world’s biggest golf events and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open now firmly sits in that category with a truly world-class field. Last year we hosted the strongest field in the event’s history with eight of the world’s top fifteen players competing at Dundonald and we look forward to more stars signing up to challenge themselves this year in Scotland, The Home of Golf.”
Taking place the week before the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes and a fortnight ahead of the European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open will kick off a superb three weeks of women’s golf in the UK. The stretch of events will be a competitive advantage for those players competing. The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open is also a key element of Scotland’s commitments to the staging of The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, which will be played on the PGA Centenary Course, the same course as the European Golf Team Championships, which includes a mixed team foursomes event and takes place on August 8-12.