Dundonald Links is to be used as one of the venues for the First Qualifying Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School for the next three years.
The renowned Ayrshire links, which is the sister course of Loch Lomond, became the first Scottish course to be used as a venue for a European Tour Qualifying School event when it hosted one of the six Stage 1 qualifying tournaments this summer and now the deal has been extended through 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Next year’s event will be played on September 15-18, 2008.
“We are delighted to extend the agreement which saw us host a Stage 1 event for the first time this September and are confident we can build on its success,” said John Caven, the Director of Operations at both Loch Lomond and Dundonald Links.
“This year we weren’t blessed with great weather, but we did receive lot of positive feedback from competitors and feel sure our continued involvement with the Tour School can only enhance the profile of the course.”
Mike Stewart, the European Tour’s Senior Tournament Director and Qualifying School Director, said: “This year, competitors faced some of the most testing conditions we have ever seen at a Qualifying School venue.
“The weather was brutal, however, the course provided a tough but fair challenge and that, coupled with the level of support we received from the team at Dundonald Links, meant it was a simple decision for us to return.
“We are delighted the Club has agreed to host the 1st Stage of the Qualifying School for the next three years.”
This year, a total of 31 golfers came through Stage 1 at Dundonald Links and qualified for the Second Qualifying Stage in Spain. The event was won by Scotland’s Euan Little who put together rounds of 74, 73, 70 and 67 for a four under par total of 284 and a one shot victory over England’s Craig Goodfellow. Six other Scots, Duncan Stewart, David Patrick, Mark Hillson, Chris Kelly, Mark Kerr and Scott Hendry, also progressed to Spain.
Next year, Dundonald Links will host two prestigious international events, the other being the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, to be played on September 8-10.
This will be the fourth year in-a-row that Dundonald Links has hosted what has developed into one of Europe’s most eminent junior events. England’s Sam Hutsby won the title back in 2006 and he was succeeded by Italy’s Claudio Vigano in 2007. This year, England’s, Stiggy Hodgson, winner of the 2008 Carris Trophy, led from start to finish to claim an eleven shot victory over French junior champion, Arnaud Abbas. The leading girl was Holland’s Marieke Nivard.
The Championship attracted 51 national junior champions from 28 different countries.
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