Monday, February 12, 2018

Slumbers: Trump Turnberry Open would be 'complex'

By Will Gray
In announcing that St. Andrews will host The Open in 2021, R and A chief executive Martin Slumbers also confirmed that the 2022 championship will be held "south of the border" in England.
It means the wait for an Open return to Trump Turnberry in southern Ayrshire will have to wait for at least another year, and Slumbers explained in a media conference call Monday that part of the reason for the delay is tied to the man whose name is emblazoned on the property.
Donald Trump purchased Turnberry in 2014, more than two years before he was elected President of the United States. With Trump potentially in the White House until 2025, the R and A now won't consider Turnberry to host its biggest event until 2023 at the earliest.
"It would be very complex having an Open at Turnberry at the moment," Slumbers said. "It's a course where you've got the ownership issue of the course, and the staging there, and we want to make sure that we stay true to the golf, the playing of the golf. 
"But I see there's a number of other courses we haven't been to for a few years, and looking forward to going back to all of them."
Turnberry has hosted The Open four times, most recently in 2009 when Stewart Cink defeated Tom Watson in a memorable play-off. But that event marked 15 years since the previous Open on the Ailsa Course, when Nick Price lifted the claret jug in 1994.
The Open will be held at Carnoustie this summer, followed by Royal Portrush (2019), Royal St. George's (2020) and St. Andrews (2021). Slumbers confirmed that while he has had conversations with the club about hosting the event, he has not spoken directly with Trump on the issue.
"Turnberry remains one of the 10 courses (in the rota)," Slumbers said, "and it will be considered every time that we come back to Scotland."

+Because of its remoteness from a big population area, Opens at Turnberry draw the smallest crowds of all the courses on the rota.



History will be made once again at the home of golf in 2021 when The 150th Open is played at St Andrews from July 11 to 18.
Marking a true celebration of golf’s original championship and its historic ties to St Andrews, the occasion will be the 30th time that The Open has been played over the world-renowned Old Course where many of the greatest names in the history of golf have lifted the famous Claret Jug and been crowned Champion Golfer of the Year.
Golf’s most international major championship was last played in St Andrews in 2015 when Zach Johnson defied difficult weather conditions to defeat Marc Leishman and 2010 Champion Golfer of the Year Louis Oosthuizen in a four-hole play-off and land his second major title.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R and A, said “The Open holds a very special place in the hearts of golf and sports fans around the world. The Championship enjoys a historic and celebrated relationship with the Old Course in St Andrews and we are excited to be marking the occasion of the 150th Championship at the home of golf in 2021. 
“St Andrews has produced a revered group of outstanding Champion Golfers since The Open was first played on the Old Course in 1873. Once again we look forward to seeing the greatest players take on the challenge of the world’s most iconic links course in their pursuit of the Claret Jug.”  
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said, “As the world’s oldest and most prestigious professional golf championship, The Open is synonymous with both St Andrews and Scotland and I’m delighted St Andrews will welcome its 150th staging in 2021.
“The Open is without doubt one of the biggest events held in Scotland on a regular basis, drawing huge spectator attendance from outwith the country and providing a global media and broadcast platform to promote our outstanding golfing assets to future visitors.
“Through VisitScotland, we continue to support The Open and we will work with The R and A to deliver a Championship in 2021 befitting of its historical significance.”
Euan Loudon, Chief Executive of St Andrews Links Trust, said, “There can be no more fitting celebration of the rich heritage of the Home of Golf and its relationship with the world’s oldest major championship than as host of The 150th Open.
“It is always special when The Open returns to the Old Course and I am sure that excitement, both here in St Andrews and around the world, will build in anticipation of this special occasion.
“Almost every great champion in the game has played on our famous Links and we look forward to welcoming the next generation of golfing greats for The 150th Open.”
The Old Course first hosted The Open in 1873 when the 13th Championship was played over an 18-hole course for the first time and was won by Tom Kidd.
Since then, the historic links has witnessed some of golf’s most notable players go on to become Champion Golfer of the Year including JH Taylor, James Braid, Bobby Jones, Peter Thomson, Bobby Locke, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.



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