Owned by Donald Trump since 2014, the Scottish site has not received the oldest Golf Major since 2009. And there is no indication that it will receive it again in the short term. Unless the former future president of the United States comes to sell a good bought 63 million dollars.
Just hours after the PGA of America’s decision to withdraw the organization of the PGA Championship 2022 at Trump Bedminster (New Jersey), owned by Donald Trump, President of the United States until January 20, 2021, the Royal & Ancient confirmed that for the moment he had no intention of replacing the course of Turnberry, also owned by Trump, in the rotation of the British Open …
“We had no intention of hosting one of our championships in Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future,” said Martin Slumbers, R&A General Manager, organizer of The Open, the oldest. Grand Slam tournament, and which also governs the rules of golf (along with the USGA). We will not be back until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not think that is feasible under the current circumstances… ”
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The press release from the boss of the R&A obviously alludes here to the incidents that marked the day of January 6, 2021 in Washington, around the Capitol. Donald Trump, defeated in the presidential elections in November 2020 by Democratic candidate Joe Biden, thus encouraged the invasion of Congress (the equivalent of the National Assembly in France) by his supporters. Violence which had killed five people, including a police officer, and which could lead to the dismissal of the 45th President of the United States, before legal proceedings.
Turnberry, located on the west coast of Scotland, south of Prestwick, which hosted the first The Open in… 1860, has hosted the event four times. The last time in 2009, which then saw the American Stewart Cink beat in the playoff his compatriot Tom Watson, then 59 years old.
Trump, who bought the site in 2014 for a whopping $ 63 million, tried during his tenure to convince the same Royal & Ancient to put Turnberry back into the rotation of the oldest golf major (which has ten sites, including the Royal Portursh, Northern Ireland, the British’s last host in July 2019). According to New York Times, he would have asked Woody Johnson, co-owner of the New York Jets (NFL) but also United States ambassador to Great Britain, to help him convince the institution founded in 1754 to stall Turnberry in the future world calendar. In vain. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition, which was scheduled to be held at Royal St George’s (Kent), has been canceled and postponed until July 2021. For the 150th anniversary of the event, St Andrews will host the ‘2022 edition, followed by the Royal Liverpool (in 2023) and the Royal Troon (in 2024). After? Nothing has been recorded, but it would be surprising for R&A to reverse its decision, at least as long as Donald Trump remains the owner of the premises …
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A situation that saddens Paul McGinley. In a chronicle delivered to Skysports, the winning European captain of the 2014 Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland suggested it was a mistake not to put Turnberry back in the rotation. “From a purely golfing point of view, it is sad that The Open has been, for the foreseeable future, deprived of what I personally believe to be the best course in the rotation, blows the Irishman. Turnberry is a place engraved in the minds of many golfers because of its often memorable history. The first (British Open) to be held there in 1977 was one of the best in tournament history. The “duel in the sun” between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, whose birdie on the 72nd hole allowed him to win the second of his five titles (…) Turnberry was already an excellent golf course before the renowned architect, Martin Ebert , does oversee a number of important changes. Since then, I would say that it is now the best of the best, ahead of Muirfield (another course which hosts The Open). The fact that The Open has only been played there four times (1977, 1986, 1994, 2009) does not make the place any less historic. The British Open, and golf as a whole, will be poorer without Turnberry. I really hope that over time the circumstances will change and that we can all welcome back to what is a unique journey and place for me. “