President’s Open bid gets Trumped
Open organisers fear Donald’s impact
Senior figures behind golf’s biggest tournament don’t want the Open to return to Turnberry while Donald Trump is president - over fears he would “suck the air out of” the spectacle.
Leading sports journalist Alan Shipnuck claims he has spoken to “leading figures” in the R& A as part of a 7,000 word article for Sports Illustrated magazine.
He said sources believe hosting the event at the US President’s Ayrshire course while he is in office would prove to be an unhelpful distraction.
Shipnuck made the claims in a GOLF. com podcast discussing his magazine article on Trump.
He said: “I talked to a high- ranking person at the R& A about where Turnberry fits into this, 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.
“It’s hard to think about Turnberry not hosting an open in Donald Trump’s lifetime, so the person who I spoke to said: ‘ We really don’t want to do it while he’s president, because we know he would show up - because how could he stay away?’
“So his life in politics will probably determine when the Open goes to Turnberry.”
Donald Trump last visited Turnberry in June 2016 – the day after the Brexit vote – for the official re- opening of the course, one of his only foreign stops during the presidential campaign.
Following his election in November, running of the course and his other businesses was handed to his children with son Eric, who has been heavily involved since the family bought the course in 2014, taking charge at Turnberry.
The course last hosted The Open in 2009, and previously hosted championships in 1994, 1986 and 1977 with the famous ‘ Duel in the Sun’ where Tom Watson claimed a narrow victory over Jack Nicklaus.
Respected journalist Shipnuck has covered golf for Sports Illustrated - which sells around three million copies each week - for more than 20 years.
He added that the R& A still consider Turnberry part of the rota for the tournament, but that is “a question of when” it returns to the Carrick course.
Venues for the Open Championship have been decided up until 2020, with St Andrews likely to 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.
Luxury Trump Turnberry is owned by the President’s family Grand opening Trump last visited Turnberry in June 2016
Famous day Tom Watson won one of the most famous Open championships at Turnberry in 1977