Hosting Open at Turnberry 'very complex' due to Donald Trump factor

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Hosting Open at Turnberry 'very complex' due to Donald Trump factor

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Hosting Open at Turnberry 'very complex' due to Donald Trump factor

KINGSBARNS, Scotland – Staging an Open Championship at Turnberry is “very complex” at the moment, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers admits.

Turnberry, now called Trump Turnberry since President Donald Trump took ownership, remains in the current pool of 10 courses that stage the Open Championship. However, Slumbers seemed to suggest Monday the four-time Open Championship course was never a viable option as an upcoming venue with Trump sitting in the White House, and won’t be until the 45th president leaves office.

“We have criteria for which courses we want to go to, and part of that is macroeconomics,” Slumber said. “Clearly part of that macroeconomics is about politics.

“It would be very complex having an Open at Turnberry at the moment. It’s a course where you’ve got the ownership issue of the course and the staging there, and we want to make sure we stay true to the golf, the playing of the golf.

“Turnberry remains one of the 10 courses and will be under consideration every time we come back to Scotland.”

Slumbers says he has not had direct contact with President Trump, but has been in constant touch with the club.

One popular theory circulating around the R&A is that Turnberry won’t get the Open Championship until President Trump no longer owns it. The theory says the R&A does not want the same media circus that ensued at Turnberry when Trump flew into the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open during presidential campaigning.

Slumbers says no such policy exists.

Turnberry’s next chance of an Open Championship is 2023. Venues have been announced through to 2021, with the governing body Monday revealing golf’s worst-kept secret that St. Andrews will host the 2021 Open to mark the 150th anniversary. The R&A is committed to staging the 2022 Open in England.

Trump might be president until 2024 if he is elected for a second term. It will be interesting to see if the R&A returns there five years from now if Trump still owns the venue. The R&A won’t have to make that call until 2020 at the earliest.

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