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Turnberry still on Open rotation

Donald Trump’s Turnberry golf club remains in the rotation to host a British Open. However, it’s not yet certain when that might happen.

Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A, the organizing body that oversees the British Open, confirmed on Wednesday that there are nine courses eligible to host Opens, and that Turnberry is among that number. It’s uncertain when that might happen for Turnberry, but it almost surely won’t come before 2022, based on current bookings.

Slumbers did not indicate that the current presidential election, in which Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, would have any impact on the R&A’s decision to award the Open to Turnberry.

Turnberry has hosted four Opens, most recently in 2009, when Stewart Cink defeated Tom Watson in a playoff. Trump purchased the club in 2014 and immediately re-branded it as “Trump Turnberry.” Late last year, reports surfaced in the United Kingdom that the R&A was privately removing Turnberry from the so-called “rota,” with one anonymous R&A member saying, “Turnberry will be back. But perhaps not Trump Turnberry.”

The British Open is slated to be played at Royal Birkdale in 2017, Carnoustie in 2018, and Royal Portrush in 2019. The 2020 and 2021 Opens are slated for St. Andrews and an as-yet-undetermined links course in England, meaning any return visit to Turnberry would not come in the next six years, at least. Earlier this year, the R&A removed Muirfield from consideration as a British Open site after the club refused to admit women as members.

Trump drew headlines in June when he took time off from his presidential campaign to promote Turnberry. He arrived in Scotland as news of the Brexit vote was surfacing, and drew heat for suggesting that a weakened British pound was better for his business at Turnberry.

Trump’s outspoken political views have earned him scorn from the PGA Tour and other corporate entities. The Tour moved its March WGC-Cadillac Championship from Trump Doral to Mexico City. Trump responded by saying, “I hope they have kidnapping insurance.”

Several majors are still slated to take place at Trump-owned golf courses, including the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and 2022 PGA Championship (Trump National Bedminster, New Jersey) and the 2017 Senior PGA (Trump National Washington).

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