Westin Turnberry to host 2009 Open
The 138th Open Championship will be returning to the Westin Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire from 16th to 19th July 2009, taking place on the resort’s renowned Ailsa Course.
Turnberry’s General Manager Stewart Selbie said, “This announcement consolidates years of work and co-operation between the R&A, South Ayrshire Council and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, owners of Turnberry. I am thrilled for everyone on the Turnberry team who has worked on this. In my six years here so many of the world’s best golfers have told me that they enjoy coming to Turnberry as one of the best Open venues in the world
I would particularly like to thank Graham Peterken and his team at South Ayrshire Council in implementing the changes needed to introduce an updated traffic plan, which was the key to bringing the Open back to Turnberry. This is not only a great story for Turnberry as we move into our centenary year in 2006, but for the whole of Ayrshire, which will again become the centre of the golfing universe in July 2009”.
Turnberry has been host to the Open Championship on three previous occasions. In 1977, it was the venue for the famous ‘Duel in the Sun’ between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. The Open returned again in 1986, when Greg Norman not only defeated the field but also the wind and rain. In 1994 Nick Price snatched victory over the last two holes from Jesper Parnevik.
Paul Burley, Director of Golf at Turnberry said, “It is fantastic news that the Open is returning to Turnberry. Having staged three outstanding Open’s it is well deserved that this great championship returns to our legendary links. It is not by accident that previous Open winners at Turnberry happen to have been the best players in the world at the time. It is a reflection of the way the course was set up, its fairness and like all great golf courses, the Ailsa responds to superlative play.”
In conjunction with the R&A, work will begin this winter on the Ailsa Course to enhance it and ensure it is a challenge for the world’s best golfers.
Colin Montgomerie, fresh from his 8th European Order of Merit title who has his Links Golf Academy at Turnberry, sent his good wishes upon hearing the announcement. He commented, “I know from a player’s perspective how popular the Ailsa Course is, as well as Turnberry itself with all the great facilities has to offer golfers. I also know how well this announcement will be received by many of the world’s greatest golfers. The Ailsa has always been my favourite links course and it’s great that Ayrshire has another Open Championship on the horizon.”
The Ailsa is regularly acknowledged as one of Britain’s top three courses as well as consistently being ranked in the world’s top 20 courses. With spectacular views sweeping across the Irish Sea to the Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran and the Mull of Kintyre with the picturesque lighthouse on the horizon, the Ailsa will provide a magnificent and memorable setting for this championship and reinforces Turnberry’s reputation as one of the greatest Open Championship venues.
For further information on Turnberry, please call 01655 331 000 or visit the Turnberry website at www.westin.com/turnberry