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Gailes ‘open’ to Scottish idea

Ayrshire venue does not reject the idea of staging 2017 edition of national championship.

GAILES LINKS has said it would ‘seriously consider’ any approach from the European Tour to host the Scottish Open, Scottish Club Golfer can reveal.

The event will be held over a composite course at Gullane, East Lothian, next year before heading back to Castle Stuart, in Inverness, for the fourth time in 2016.

But a spot has become available for the 2017 staging, with it widely rumored to be going to Dundonald Links, the Kyle Philips design.

But Alan McMillan, the managing secretary at Gailes Links, told us that whilst it is not currently on the agenda, any approach by officials from the European Tour would not necessarily be rebuffed.

APPROACH

“We’re not at that stage, but we would seriously consider any approach. But from my perspective, we are a members club,” said McMillan.

Gailes Links recently hosted 36-hole final qualifying for the Open Championship, having been given the honour by the R&A to be the sole Scottish venue for entry to the Open for four years, regardless
of where the Open is being staged.

Marc Warren won Final Qualifying at Gailes Links with many players praising the quality of the golf course, leading some to suggest it should be touted as a future Scottish Open venue as the event looks to tour the country.

McMillan, though, said the week was a huge success and added that the club definitely benefited from the exposure.

INTEREST

“It’s early days yes, but we did notice an upturn [in interest],” he said. “The exposure that we got from being the sole Open Final Qualifying course undoubtedly leads to a much greater and wider interest.

“We were very pleased to hear those comments from players. It was an extremely busy few days, especially the second practice day. I thought that Marc Warren was a worthy winner, and we were blessed with beautiful weather. Gailes Links proved to be a fine test of golf.”

A decision on the venue for the 2017 Scottish Open is not expected for some time, with insiders saying it could be up to a year before that choice is made.

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