World No. 1, Lydia Ko, looking ahead to ground-breaking Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links from the 27th - 30th July.
Speaking ahead of her second appearance at the Championship this summer, which will be played at the same venue as the Men’s Scottish open for the first time for an increased prize fund of US$1.5m Ko, said, ‘I’m really excited to be coming back to the Scotland, ‘The Home of Golf’ to compete against the best players from both the LPGA and LET and play at Dundonald Links. The course is extremely different to what we play week-in-week-out in the US and it’ll be interesting to see how the men play the course a few weeks before us. I’ll be keeping my eye on the coverage to see if I can learn anything from them.’
Looking back to her past links’ experience 20-year-old Ko, said, ‘I love that you have to be creative at a links course and there’s so many factors that can affect your game. The last time that I played this event I went on to record my best finish in the Ricoh Women’s British Open so I’m hoping that it will help prepare me for this year’s Championship.’
Ko spoke to media as part of a joint-promotion of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, which will both be played at Dundonald over the coming weeks.
Joining her in support of the championship was Scottish Ladies European Tour player, Gemma Dryburgh, who is looking to qualify for her second appearance in the event, and former Open Champion Paul Lawrie, with both professionals hosting a clinic at for Scottish sports stars Steven Naismith and Eve Muirhead.
Talking about the co-sanctioning agreement between the LET and LPGA, Dryburgh 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. I played my first Scottish Open here last year and had three steady rounds but I hope I can put on a good show for the locals and I’m up for the challenge.’
Dryburgh will be joined by confirmed global stars including world no. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, Major champions Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettersen and Catriona Matthew, 2016 Ladies European Tour No. 1, Beth Allen, English sensation, Charley Hull, and of course 2016 champion, Isabelle Boineau, who looks to defend her title.
Taking place the week before the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns in 2017, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open will kick off a superb two weeks of women’s links golf in Scotland. The back-to-back stretch of events echoes the successful strategy employed by the Men’s Scottish Open taking place the week before The Open – an approach proven to be a competitive advantage for those players competing in both Championships. The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open is also a key element of Scotland’s commitments to the staging of The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.
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Lydia Ko Interview

Moderator: You’ve played the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open before, what are your memories of the event?

Lydia Ko: It was actually my first time playing in a pro-am format when I played in 2015 and it was a lot of fun. I felt like Dundonald wasn’t a typical links but rather a mix between an American style and English links which I think suits my game.

Moderator: How important do you think it is to play links golf before you play the Ricoh Women’s British Open the week after?

Lydia Ko:  I thought it worked well for me a couple of years ago. I had my best finish to date after I played the event so that’s a great start. Being able to drive to the next event is also nice. When you play both events together it isn’t like any other two weeks on Tour. We are used to playing in a little bit of wind but during these two weeks there are so many factors affecting you and you have to play in a creative way and I enjoy playing like that and obviously playing the Scottish leading in gives me the perfect preparation to build me game.

Moderator: This is the first year the event has been co-sanctioned by the LET and LPGA; does that make a difference when you are planning your schedule now that the stature of the event has grown?

Lydia Ko: The LPGA is a very global Tour so it’s great to see them get involved in more events outside of the US and it’s a great opportunity for us to play alongside a number of LET players that we don’t see for a lot of the year and make the field even stronger than usual. It’s always nice to play with top players from other countries and see how they make their way around a links course.

Moderator: How do you feel about the Men’s Scottish Open being played on the same venue two weeks’ before on the same course? You’ve done it before at the US Open did you like being at the same venue?

Lydia Ko: Absolutely. I had a great time playing at Pinehurst and I felt like the course was in amazing condition when we played it and I’m sure it’ll be the same at Dundonald. It’s really interesting to see how the men score and how we do in comparison and hopefully we’ll be able to play some amazing golf for the fans that come and watch both tournaments.  

Moderator: Will you watch the men?

Lydia Ko: I’ll be playing in a tournament in the US that week so I won’t be in a position to watch a lot but I’ll definitely check the coverage and watch how the men take on the course. I’ve never seen it played from where they tee from so that’ll be interesting to see if it is different to us. I think it’ll be pretty cool for the fans to see though.

Moderator: Your mother is well known for cooking you lovely things while you are on Tour, is there any one food you are looking forward to trying in Scotland?

Lydia Ko: It isn’t a traditional Scottish food but I love meat. When I was playing the Ladies Scottish Open a couple of years ago we stayed in Troon and they had these ribs that were the most amazing ribs I’d ever hard. I know you can get those in the US too but they were the most amazing thing and I think I had them four times in the week. It was almost addicting. I would get back to the hotel and order it straight away. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it back to the hotel to order them but that’s one of the things I can remember. The food in the UK is some of the most traditional that we eat during the year and reminds me a little bit of going back home.

Moderator: Winning the Scottish Open before the Ricoh Women’s British Open would be a big thing for you too though?

Lydia Ko: I’ve been fortunate enough to win my national open in New Zealand so to win the national open in Scotland would be amazing. To win a national open in any country is a huge honour which I think makes you become even more in love with that place. There’s a lot of good golfers out there trying to stop me so I need to work hard on my game and hopefully be able to give myself a good chance to win.