Under the agreement, brokered by EventScotland, the Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played in Scotland on at least five occasions between 2011 and 2020.
Making the announcement the First Minister of Scotland, the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP said:
“The success of the 2007 Women’s British Open here at St Andrews proved once again that there is nowhere better to stage major golfing events than here in Scotland the home of golf.
“I am delighted to announce that EventScotland and the Ricoh Women’s British Open have agreed a ten year partnership which guarantees Scotland will host the Women’s British Open Championship on at least five occasions between 2011 and 2020.
“This prestigious event is an excellent showcase for Scottish golf and tourism.”
Following the enormous success of last year’s Championship, the first professional women’s tournament to be hosted over the Old Course, St Andrews and won by World Number One Lorena Ochoa, EventScotland identified the Ricoh Women’s British Open as an ideal platform to promote Scotland and its outstanding golf credentials around the world.
The event delivered £7.5 million pounds to the Scottish economy and received 356 hours and 30 minutes of global broadcast coverage across 26 international broadcasters.
Paul Bush from EventScotland commented: “We are delighted to have secured the right for Scotland to stage the Ricoh Women’s British Open five times during our ten year partnership.
“The success of the 2007 Championship at St Andrews demonstrated yet again that Scotland is the perfect stage for major golf events. Scotland boasts so many of the world’s best golf courses and facilities and the Ricoh Women’s British Open is another opportunity to showcase these fantastic assets.
“EventScotland is the lead agency as Scotland prepares to host The Ryder Cup in 2014. A key part of this work as we build to that year is securing professional events that broaden interest and participation in the sport and today’s announcement, and our investment of £600,000 to secure this deal, underlines this commitment.”
The Ricoh Women’s British Open was founded by the Ladies’ Golf Union in 1976. Steeped in history and the only Major to take place outside of the USA, the 2008 event is set to be one of the highlights on this year’s golfing calendar, with 144 players from around the world competing for a total prize fund of GBP£1,050,000 (US$2,100,000).
The Ricoh Women’s British Open has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001. The event is managed on behalf of the Ladies’ Golf Union by IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company.
Shona Malcolm, Ladies’ Golf Union’s CEO, observed, “We are delighted to be working with EventScotland and are very much looking forward, in partnership with them, to continuing to grow and develop the Ricoh Women’s British Open year on year.”
For more information, including the latest news and advance ticket offers, please visit www.ricohwomensbritishopen.com.