Sep 10th, 2017
Report suggests R&A don't want a Trump Open Championship
He would 'suck the air from the tournament' apparently
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Getty Images Styling: GolfPunk
It's been claimed that the R&A do not want the Open Championship to return to Turnberry while Donald Trump is president because he would “suck the air out of” the tournament.
The claim has been made by Alan Shipnuck, a Sports Illustrated journo who has spent weeks researching Trump’s relationship with golf for a recent article in the magazine. As part of his research, Shipnuck claimed to have spoken with a high-ranking individual within the R&A who thought the presence of the controversial US president at the game’s oldest and most prestigious competition would be an 'unhelpful distraction'.
The R&A are not keen on 'distractions', as we found out when we went to this year's Open at Birkdale. No one was allowed back in if they left for whatever reason. So no one could leave. Zero distraction, optimum cash intake through poor quality food choices and expensive beer. So the idea of their prize possession being interfered with by the cavalcade of noise that a Trump Open would bring must seem like their worst nightmare.
Trump bought Turnberry in 2014 and has poured millions into upgrading the golf course and its famous hotel. We haven't been there since the alterations but we are assured by people who have that it is now 'awesome'. And it was pretty amazing before.
Trump's public 'political' outbursts during the Presidential election campaign, including his half-witted remarks about Muslims and his plans to build 'a beautiful' wall on the US/Mexican border, led to pressure from politicians and the public to take Turnberry off The Open rota.
“I talked to a high-ranking person at the R&A about where Turnberry fits into this," said Shipnuck, "because those tweedy blokes have kind of made it clear they don’t want to host an Open and have Donald Trump suck the air out of it."
“So his life in politics will probably determine when the Open goes to Turnberry,” Shipnuck said. “But the person I spoke to said we consider Turnberry part of the rota. It will host an Open, it is just a question of when,” Shipnuck added.
Open Championship venues have been decided up until 2020 with Carnoustie, Royal Portrush and Royal St George’s in line for the tournament. St Andrews will host the 150th championship in 2021.
A spokesman for The R&A said: “There is no change to our previously stated position. Turnberry is one of the ten courses which host the Open and will be considered in future along with the other venues.”
Of course it is.