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As the curtain falls on The 149th Open at Royal St George’s, Donald Trump has outlined his expectation that the R&A will give Turnberry another shot at the championship.

The Ayrshire resort, bought by the former US president in 2014, has staged four editions of golf’s oldest major to date, most recently in 2009 when Stewart Cink pipped Tom Watson to the Claret Jug.

However, in January this year, shortly after Trump was implicated for inciting the Capitol riots, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers stated that the resort and its iconic Ailsa links will have to wait for its controversial owner to sell up before it gets to a fifth Open.

“We had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future,” said Slumbers.

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“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.”

Trump, ousted from the White House by Joe Biden in November’s US presidential elections, had kept his counsel on the matter – until now.

In a statement, the 45th president of the United States said: “I have spent some time watching The Open Championship (formerly known as The British Open) and it is terrific. But as almost all of the great players, sportscasters, and sports aficionados know, the greatest site and course of all for The Open is Turnberry, in Scotland.

“It is a truly magical place. The players want to be there and at some point in time the players will be there. But this course was not chosen for The Open because they consider a wonderful person, and many-time Club Champion named Donald J. Trump to be too controversial – this is, of course, a false reputation caused mainly by the Fake News Media.”

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He added: “Remember, though, controversy only makes things ‘hotter’. In any event, Turnberry is also the course where the greatest match of all time was played, nicknamed ‘The Dual [sic] in the Sun’, which boiled down to an Open between the great Jack Nicklaus and the great Tom Watson.

“Turnberry is on the ocean with the most spectacular holes, sightlines, shots and seaside views of any course in the world. It is a shame that the phenomenal Turnberry golf links, the best in the world, sits empty during Open Championships, while far lesser courses are on display. Oh well, life proceeds forward! Someday The Open will back at Turnberry.”

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A ticket ballot for The 150th Open – taking place in St Andrews in 2022 – is now open. Click here to register your interest in being part of golf history.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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