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Friday, 13 July, 2001, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Scottish Open: Historic yet new
Loch Lomond hosted its first event in 1996
Loch Lomond hosted its first event in 1996
BBC Sport Online's Clive Lindsay takes a look at the history of the Scottish Open and its Loch Lomond venue.

The first Scottish Open at Loch Lomond is a reflection of the new world order that now encapsulates the home of golf and the sport itself.

A traditional championship resurrected from the dead by worldwide finance, it is housed in a historical setting now owned by an American corporation.

The Scottish Open began its chequered life back in 1972, when England's Neil Coles won at Downfield in Dundee.

The competition moved to St Andrews for a year, then was not held again until 1986, when Haggs Castle in Glasgow was the host.

Gleneagles was home for eight successful years, then Carnoustie for another two.

Funding problems led to the title going into abeyance and the on-year-old Loch Lomond World Invitational moved from the autumn to fill the vacant slot the week before the Open Championship.

The Loch Lomond event had been the brainchild of Lyle Anderson, whose US corporation has been in real estate for more than 30 years, creating residential golf developments with courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus.

Nicklaus's 70s rival, Tom Weiskopf, had been hired to design the Loch Lomond course by the previous owner, David Bench, before the English property developer's company failed in 1990.

Anderson took up the batton and created one of the world's most exclusive private golf clubs, with members from 40 countries.

His annual competition not only attracted some of the world's top golfers to what was quickly regarded as one of the globe's best courses, but it allowed the local population a once-a-year glimpse of the cosmopolitan rich at play in an area steeped in Scottish history.

Jesper Parnevik won the Scottish Open in 1993
Jesper Parnevik won the Scottish Open in 1993
The club is based in Rossdhu House, built in 1773 as the family home of the Colquhoun clan to replace the 15th century Rossdhu Castle, which has strong links with Mary Queen of Scots.

An estate three times the size of the golf course itself, Rossdhu contains 10 listed buildings and two ancient monuments.

It is here where its select membership can shoot pheasant or clay pigeon, hook a fish, take a boat trip out into the waters of one of the world's most famous and beautiful stretches of water, or simply enjoy the peace of an area containing two sites of special scientific interest.

Anderson will argue that environmental protection schemes show Rossdhu is safe in foreign hands.

His agreement with the PGA European Tour and International Management Group, plus live coverage from the BBC, means that the Scottish Open is as well.

The title is secure at Loch Lomond for the next five years and prize money of 2.2m is double what was an offer at last year's Standard Life Loch Lomond.

Previous winners of the Loch Lomond event are now also officially Scottish Open winners too.

It means that 1996 has two champions, Thomas Bjorn and Ian Woosnam.

Woosnam's cheque for his Scottish Open victory that year was for 80,000. A repeat this week would benefit the Welshman to the tune of 366,660.

Yet another sign of the changing times.

The Scottish Open is being broadcast live on BBC television.

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