Sky Sports presenter Di Dougherty and BBC commentator Andrew Cotter have been unveiled as the host ambassadors for Scotland’s biggest sporting event of the year, The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, 9th to 15th September.
Dougherty works for Sky across a variety of sports as well as for the Golf Channel and is an experienced and skilled host of live events such as the Ryder Cup Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Cotter is one of the most familiar voices in sports commentary in the UK. As well as his BBC TV and radio work across a number of major sporting events, he also commentates on BT Sport and is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and recognisable Scottish voices in sport.
The broadcasting stars were selected because of their vast experience, popularity, love of golf as well as their on screen connection. They will be working across all aspects of the event, from the Junior Solheim Cup ceremonies and functions, to village and sponsor activities and functions, with Dougherty earmarked to host Thursday’s prestigious opening ceremony.
Dougherty said: “I’m delighted to be an ambassador. I grew up watching and following the Solheim Cup, to be part of the week is incredibly special for me. The format most definitely encouraged me to pursue match play at county golf level. The players are role models to us all, let’s keep shining the spot light on women’s sport.”
Cotter commented: “I’m very proud to be a host ambassador for The Solheim Cup as it combines my love of golf with one of the great golfing venues in my home country. There is also a real feeling of momentum within women’s sport in general just now and hopefully the excitement generated by the Solheim Cup can be a part of that”
Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland explained, “We are delighted to partner with two such renowned broadcasters and believe we have hit upon the right combination to appeal both internationally and locally as well as to our host broadcasters, right holders and sponsors. They will enhance the experience for the tens of thousands of spectators attending The Solheim Cup Gleneagles on a daily basis as well as the millions more watching on television around the world as we showcase Scotland’s outstanding golf and event assets.”
The Solheim Cup will be screened to more than 600 million homes worldwide with the match-play format aiming to engage both the traditional golf audience as well as wider sports fans, raising the profile of women’s golf both in Scotland and internationally.
The Scottish Government’s aspiration is that The 2019 Solheim Cup is the biggest ever European edition of the event and the most family-focused golf event in history with around 100,000 spectators expected at Gleneagles. Tickets are priced from just £10 for adults with children under-16 admitted free of charge. For more information visit www.solheimcup2019.com
European Captain, VisitScotland ambassador, Catriona Matthew, is looking to return the trophy to Europe in 2019 after an inspired USA team won 16 ½ to 11 ½ points in front of record crowds in Iowa in 2017. Organisers are aiming to set a new record for a European edition in 2019.
The Scottish Government and VisitScotland have been long-time supporters of the women’s game, having partnered with the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the recently significantly enhanced Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, which took place as a co-sanctioned LET and LPGA event for the first time in 2017.
The Scottish Government is fully funding the 2019 Solheim Cup with a budget of up to £19m. VisitScotland is leading on the delivery of the project on behalf of the Scottish Government, working in partnership with stakeholders including IMG, Transport Scotland, Police Scotland, Scottish Golf and Perth and Kinross Council.
The 2019 Solheim Cup will not only showcase Scotland, the Home of Golf, but also build on the legacy of the successful 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. It will underline that Scotland is the perfect stage for major golf events as it seeks to help inspire a new generation of children to take up the game invented in their home country.
IMG, a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, is the official staging partner for The 2019 Solheim Cup - notably the first time VisitScotland has partnered with a commercial company on such a significant project, having worked with IMG over the past ten years on various golf events.