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Three of Ayrshire’s finest courses – Dundonald Links, Glasgow Gailes and Western Gailes – have been selected to host pre-qualifying for the 2008 Senior Open Championship, Presented by MasterCard, which takes place at Royal Troon from July 24-27 next year.

Speaking on behalf of the Championship Committee, David Hill, the R&A’s Director of Championships, said: “We are delighted that three courses of such high quality and renown as Dundonald Links, Glasgow Gailes and Western Gailes will host our 2008 qualifying rounds.

“They are three fantastic courses that will certainly help ensure all those qualifying will be excellent golfers worthy of playing at Royal Troon, which is the sixth regular Open Championship course where The Senior Open Championship will occur.”

The decision to award Dundonald Links pre-qualifying is further recognition of the course’s growing stature within world golf venues, for it also recently became the first course in Scotland to be awarded European Tour Qualifying School status. From next year, it will host Stage One of the process.

Owned by Lyle Anderson, who also owns Loch Lomond Golf Club, home of the Barclays Scottish Open, Dundonald Links opened in July 2003.

The testing 7,300 yard, par 72 championship circuit was designed by the great American course architect Kyle Phillips, whose portfolio of other prestigious courses includes Kingsbarns in north-east Fife, Scotland, and The Grove, near Watford in Hertfordshire, England.

Dundonald Links sits alongside Western Gailes GC, overlooking the Firth of Clyde towards the island of Arran.

Western Gailes is a 6,639 par 71 that has hosted the Curtis Cup and is a regular Open Championship qualifying venue when both Royal Troon and Turnberry are the rostered venues.

Glasgow Gailes, a 6,903 par 71, is another Open qualifying course and it will also host the 2010 Scottish Open Amateur Strokeplay Championship and the 2012 Home Internationals.

The qualifying route into The Senior Open Championship is a path that can lead to the ultimate success – as American Pete Oakley proved in 2004 when he made history by becoming the first qualifier to win The Senior Open title when he claimed a one shot victory at Royal Portrush Golf Club.