No British Open at Trump's Turnberry for 'foreseeable future'
London (AFP) –
The British Open golf championship will not be staged at the Turnberry course in Scotland owned by US President Donald Trump for the "foreseeable future", tournament organisers announced Monday.
The move follows the decision by American golf authorities to strip Trump's Bedminster course in New Jersey of the right to host the 2022 US PGA Championship.
Last week Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol building in an incident that left five people dead as they attempted to disrupt Congress from approving the result of November's US presidential election won by Joe Biden.
A statement issued by the R&A (Royal and Ancient), which runs the British Open -- the ony one of golf's four majors played outside the US -- said taking the championship back to Turnberry would distract from events on the course.
"The R&A had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future," said chief executive Martin Slumbers.
"We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances."
The British Open switches venues every year with Turnberry one of 10 courses on the current rotation.
However, the championship has not been played at Turnberry since 2009, five years before the Trump Organisation purchased the course and renamed it "Trump Turnberry".
Situated in Ayrshire, southwest Scotland, Turnberry has played hosts to several notable moments in British Open history, including the 1977 'Duel in the Sun' when America's Tom Watson overcame compatriot Jack Nicklaus, golf's most successful major champion and a Trump supporter, in a dramatic final round.
Turnberry was also the venue where Stewart Cink thwarted the then 59-year-old Watson's bid to become golf's oldest male major championship winner when he won the 2009 British Open in a play-off.
Trump's repeated false claims of election fraud, and his incendiary address to protesters prior to the attack on the Capitol have prompted critics to call for his resignation, his impeachment, or his removal from office as unfit under the Constitution's 25th amendment.
The 74-year-old's divisive rhetoric had long posed a problem for a game he has been identified with.
Golf greats Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam came in for criticism when they accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump on Thursday -- a day after the chaos in Washington.
© 2021 AFP