hat tip-Margo I.

Scotland’s historic Turnberry Resort to be bought by Dubai-based group
May 21, 2008 – PGA – Wire Services

TURNBERRY, Scotland — The Westin Turnberry Resort, the venue for the 2009 British Open, is being bought for $110 million by the Dubai-based Leisurecorp. The company, which in November announced plans to host the richest tournament in golf at the end of the 2009 European Tour season, has signed a letter of intent with current owners Starwood Hotels and Resorts. The deal is expected to be completed by Oct. 31.
 
Turnberry has two 18-hole championship courses — the famed Ailsa Course, which has hosted the British Open three times, and the Kintyre Course. The resort, on the southwest coast of Scotland, also has the nine-hole Arran Course and a Colin Montgomerie links academy.
 
The current Westin hotel also features lodges, cottages, a spa and conference facilities, all of which will be redeveloped in time for next year’s British Open.
 
Turnberry first hosted the British Open in 1977 — the famous “Duel in the Sun” in which Tom Watson beat Jack Nicklaus by a stroke after the pair had separated themselves from the rest of the field.
 
Greg Norman won his first major there in 1986, firing a major record-equaling 63 en route, and Nick Price became champion in 1994 after an eagle putt on the 17th helped him overtake Jesper Parnevik, who stood on the final tee three ahead.
 
“You only have to look out across Turnberry’s Ailsa Course towards the landmark lighthouse to know that the resort is one of the world’s greatest golf destinations,” Leisurecorp Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Rogers said. “We are looking forward to working with Starwood on finalizing and announcing our future development plans for the resort over the coming months.”
 
Leisurecorp has become a major player on the European Tour, with the season long Order of Merit next year being re-named “The Race to Dubai.” The Dubai World Championship will become the climax to next season’s schedule, with a total prize fund of around $10 million. Leisurecorp also owns the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, home to the European Tour’s international headquarters and the Dubai World Championship, and Pearl Valley Golf Estates, which is the home of the South African Open.
 
 

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