Young stars ready for Ladies Scottish Open

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Youth is center stage again in Scotland this week.

A week after Jordan Spieth’s bid to keep his Grand Slam quest going at St. Andrews ended, the focus shifts to a pair of teen stars in the women’s game.

Lydia Ko and Charley Hull are paired together for Friday’s start of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links in North Ayrshire. They’re scheduled to go off at 12:10 p.m. local time (7:10 a.m. ET) in the Ladies European Tour event. The best in the women’s game will gather again in Scotland next week with the Ricoh Women’s British Open scheduled at Trump Turnberry.

“I like links golf,” Ko, 18, said in her Ladies Scottish Open pretournament news conference. “Without a doubt it’s very difficult and challenging. It’s not going to be easy, not 10 under par every day, but I think this week will be great preparation for me for Turnberry next week.”

Ko, No. 2 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, isn’t just the youngest player to win an LPGA event. She’s also the youngest to win an LET event. Ko was 15 years and 4 months old when she won the LPGA’s CN Canadian Women’s Open. She was 15 years and 9 months old when she won the LET’s ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open.

Hull, 19, became the youngest Rookie of the Year in LET history, claiming the honor two years ago when she was 17. She won the LET’s Order of Merit at 18 last year, becoming the youngest player to do so.

The Ladies Scottish Open, a pro-am format, also features Suzann Pettersen, Catriona Matthew, Cheyenne Woods and Beth Allen, an American who won the Ladies European Masters three weeks ago with Sophie Gustafson on her bag as caddie.