Cruden Bay could host Open

Cruden Bay Golf Course has emerged as a favourite to host the 2019 Scottish Open
Cruden Bay Golf Course has emerged as a favourite to host the 2019 Scottish Open

Cruden Bay Golf Course has emerged as a front-runner to host the 2019 Scottish Open ahead of Trump International Golf Links.

It was claimed recently that Trump International was currently the favoured venue for the £5.5 million event in two years’ time.

However, that possibility was essentially dismissed by Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert due to the issue of “politics” with Cruden Bay now a strong contender.

Speaking at Dundonald Links, where the event is taking place this week, he said: “We’d love to go back to the Aberdeen area at some stage (Royal Aberdeen hosted the event in 2014) and, if we went back, we’d look at various courses.

“There are various criteria that come in. Royal Aberdeen was a great success, although some of the players thought it to be a bit too tricky.

“The (European) Tour have been to see Cruden Bay.

“The thing is there we’d have to do a composite-type course.

“Politics aside, Trump would be an ideal venue, but you can’t put politics aside. That is the issue so we will wait and see.”

Trump has made no secret of the fact that he’d like to see an event like the Scottish Open staged at his highly-acclaimed Menie Estate course in the near future.

“The Scottish Open is coming,” he declared during a visit two years ago.

The likelihood of that happening, though, as long as the Scottish Government is one of the event’s partners seems slim.

In a ground-breaking move, Dundonald Links is staging both the men’s and women’s Scottish Open in the space of three weeks.

The same thing is happening at Gullane next year and that is the plan for both 2019 and 2020 as well, with talks over a new contract expected to begin next year.

Due to it being a men-only club, Royal Aberdeen has been ruled out of the equation at the moment, with Cruden Bay now in the running to host the 2019 event.