Sports Minister comments
Speaking ahead of a visit to Castle Stuart Golf Links tomorrow, on the final competition day of the 2016 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, Public Health and Sport Minister Aileen Campbell said:
"With the Scottish Open this weekend in Inverness, the Open Championship at Royal Troon next weekend, and the Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald the week after that, the eyes of the golfing world will again be focused on Scottish golf courses this July.
"The Scottish Open is the highest profile annual golfing event in Scotland on the European Tour schedule and, yet again, this year's event has attracted many of the game's top names.
"There has been some outstanding golf played in some very difficult conditions over the first two days and I'm delighted to see such a strong Scottish challenge with Richie Ramsay, Russell Knox and Marc Warren all inside the top 20.
"It was this Government, along with the sponsorship of Aberdeen Asset Management and close working with our partners at the European Tour and VisitScotland, which supported and strengthened the Scottish Open – ensuring its place as the world class tournament in the global golf calendar that it is today.
"Each year we are seeing strong attendance figures, with over 60,000 people coming along to watch the golf – and contributing millions to the local and national economy at the same time.
"The money that will be raised for the event's official charity, CLIC Seargent, is also great news for those children and young people who rely on the charity's dedicated support.
"I'm very much looking forward to heading up to Castle Stuart tomorrow to meet all the people involved in putting on this fantastic event, as well as hopefully seeing some of the final few holes being played."
Tomorrow, the Minister will visit the Castle Stuart Golf Links in the afternoon where she will present the trophy to the winner, and also present the Charity Cheque to CLIC Sergeant – the official charity of the AAM Scottish Open.
The charity partnership will incorporate the 'Birdies for Good' initiative, meaning every birdie, eagle, albatross and hole in one made by the professionals over the four tournament days will generate donations to CLIC Sargent Scotland.
The Scottish Government contributes £1 million every year to the Scottish Open and is committed to doing so until at least 2020.
In 2014, the Scottish Government announced a new tri-party partnership for the event with Aberdeen Asset Management, the Scottish Government and the European Tour that secured the future of the tournament as a European Tour event.
The partnership has successfully developed the championship and has resulted in an increased prize fund – from £3 million in 2014 to £3.25 million in 2015 and 2016, before rising to £3.5 million in 2017.
An independent economic impact study commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise of the 2011 event at Castle Stuart found that more than £5 million was contributed to the Scottish economy.