THE recent Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Ladies Open has helped put Irvine’s Dundonald Links firmly on the golfing map.

And it has led to hopes that the course could now land the prestigious Men’s Scottish Open.

The event, which was free to the public, attracted crowds of almost 10,000 to the course over the three days.

And the organisers, players and sponsors agreed that it was a remarkable success story.

"We are delighted with our first visit to Dundonald,” said Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management.

“Dundonald Links is a great course, and the crowds over the three days were amazing. It exceeded our expectations.” There is already talk of Dundonald Links hosting future Championship events – perhaps even the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open that returns to Castle Stuart in 2016 but is looking for a new home in 2017.

Gilbert added: “If the crowds for the Ladies event are anything to go by, Dundonald could break all attendance records. I’m sure the men would love to come and play it.” It was the first time that the infrastructureat the Loch Lomond-owned Dundonald Links was put to the test – showcasing the club’s facilities.

The players, led by the eventual champion Rebecca Artis, were full of praise of the Kyle Phillips-designed course that was acquired by Loch Lomond in 2003.

“It’s a great golf course,” said Artis after a final round of 66 gave her a winning score of six under par, two strokes ahead of overnight leader Suzann Pettersen, who shot a 74 on Sunday. It’s in great condition and it’s been a fabulous event. The crowds are good out here and it’s a nice event leading into the British Open this week,” added the Australian, who was one of 22 nationalities represented in the Championship’s field.