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New boost to Scottish Ryder Cup bid

Scotland's bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2009 received a major boost today with the news that this year's Scottish Open has clinched a new £450,000
sponsorship deal.

The package, agreed with Bank of Scotland and the Scottish Executive on behalf of Scotland's Ryder Cup bid, underlines the Loch Lomond tournament's
position as the a key event in this year's Scottish golfing calendar and one of the premier attractions on the European Tour.

Held from July 12 to July 15 in the week before the Open Championship, the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond has already attracted a number of world-class players from both the European and US Tours. With a global television audience of millions, including a minimum of 21 hours of live coverage by
BBC TV, the Scottish Open demonstrates the qualities, facilities and venue, which form a key part of Scotland's Ryder Cup 2009 bid.

Peter Burt, Chief Executive of Bank of Scotland said: "The Scottish Open is
a tremendous tournament and Bank of Scotland is delighted to be involved as a sponsor as part of the campaign to bring the Ryder Cup to Scotland in 2009. Played at Loch Lomond, which Golf Digest's panel voted the third best
course in Britain, with players of the calibre of Ernie Els, Michael
Campbell, Nick Faldo, Sergio Garcia and our own Colin Montgomerie, the
Scottish Open will be recognised as one of the leading events on the
European Tour.

"The benefits which golf brings to Scotland in terms of entertainment, the
young players of tomorrow and the economy which it supports, are ones which
the Bank recognises and our support of the Scottish Open reflects Bank of
Scotland's ongoing commitment to Scotland."

Alan Wilson, Deputy Minister for Sport and Culture added, "Scotland has a
powerful case to host the Ryder Cup in 2009. We are committed to bringing
major golf events to Scotland as part of that bid. I am delighted to see
the return of the Scottish Open and I congratulate Loch Lomond, the
International Management Group and the European Tour for bringing the
tournament back. I am proud that the Executive and the Bank of Scotland are
supporting it and helping to ensure that it is one of the premier golf
events of the year. Our support demonstrates our commitment to top-level
golf which is a fundamental part of our Ryder Cup bid. We are also making
good progress on other aspects of our bid.

"Our ambitious development programme to introduce every child to the game of
golf by the time they are 9 years old has also progressed through the Junior
Golf Partnership. Yesterday we announced the appointment of a Junior Golf
Manager and a Junior Golf Development Officer who will be responsible for
implementing the programme and encouraging more girls and boys to play the

Scotland's Ryder Cup bid offers the tournament's organisers the choice of
four of the country's most famous courses - Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Loch
Lomond and Turnberry are all part of Scotland's Ryder Cup bid. Alastair
Dempster, the Chairman of sportscotland, who is now co-ordinating Scotland's
bid on behalf of the public sector partners said at Wentworth during the
Volvo PGA, "The quality of our golf courses is central to our bid. We are
working with all of these great venues and each one has our full backing and
support; they are all courses of distinction. We are confident that with our
infrastructure and the experience that Scotland has of hosting major golfing
events, any one of these superb courses will make an ideal venue for the
Ryder Cup in 2009."

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