Pres­i­dent’s Open bid gets Trumped

Open or­gan­is­ers fear Don­ald’s im­pact

Ayrshire Post - - PRESTWICK NEWS - Michael Reynolds

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

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