Scottish Open (golf)
|Established||1972, 43 years ago|
|Course(s)||Gullane Golf Club|
|Length||7,133 yards (6,522 m)|
|Prize fund||£3.25 million|
|Tournament record score|
|Aggregate||262 Peter O'Malley (1992)|
|To par||−20 Ian Woosnam (1987)|
The Scottish Open is one of the richer golf tournaments on the PGA European Tour. The 2015 championship was played at Gullane Golf Club near Edinburgh. The tournament, a last chance for European Tour players to earn a spot in The Open Championship, traditionally takes place the week before The Open, which is itself frequently played elsewhere in Scotland.
The Scottish Open was first held 43 years ago in 1972 at Downfield Golf Club near Dundee, but after the second event at St Andrews in 1973 there was a twelve-year hiatus before its return to the European Tour calendar in 1986, replacing the Glasgow Open. The tournament was held at Haggs Castle Golf Club in its first year back, before moving to Gleneagles until 1994. It was then hosted at Carnoustie for two years, but it was to disappear from the calendar again following the 1996 season.
Its place on the European Tour schedule from 1997 was taken by the Loch Lomond World Invitational, which had been first held the previous year. From 2001, it was decided that the Loch Lomond event would be known as the Scottish Open, and all prior editions would be granted Scottish Open status which resulted in the anomaly of having two champions in 1996.
From 2001 until 2010, the Scottish Open was played at Loch Lomond Golf Club. Some concern was expressed that the host course, which is very different from the links courses on which the Open Championship is played, puts European Tour players at a disadvantage in the subsequent major, compared to their leading rivals from the PGA Tour, who traditionally spend a week practising for the Open on links courses in Ireland.
There was a possibility that the event would move to the Dundonald links course in Ayrshire, but in 2006 the company's chief executive Keith Williams commented, "From our point of view, we would also perhaps regard Dundonald as being three years away from hosting a championship of this calibre."
On 24 January 2011, it was announced that the 2011 Barclays Scottish Open would be held at Castle Stuart Golf Links, near Inverness, due to the financial difficulty being suffered by Loch Lomond. Play was reduced to 54 holes (three rounds) in the 2011 tournament due to heavy rain causing flooding and landslides at Castle Stuart. The European Tour announced in September 2012 that the Scottish Open, now sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, would be played at Castle Stuart in 2013 and move to Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in 2014. In July 2014 the Tour confirmed that the tournament would be played at Gullane Golf Club in 2015 and at Castle Stuart Golf Links in 2016.
* – Two events held in 1996
^ – Shortened to 54 holes due to weather
- "Scottish Open: Historic yet new". BBC Sport. July 13, 2001. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- "Scottish Open will become one of Tour's richest tournaments". The Scotsman. July 17, 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- "Bad weather suspends golf's Scottish Open". BBC News (BBC). 9 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "Scottish Open to moves to Royal Aberdeen in 2014". BBC Sport (BBC). 19 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- "Scottish Open: Gullane and Castle Stuart host next two tournaments". BBC Sport. 13 July 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2015.