Muirfield: HCEG says ‘Yes’ to women

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The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers have voted to admit women members for the first time in the Muirfield club’s 273-year history.

The result of a postal ballot was revealed by captain Henry Fairweather outside the clubhouse today, with the required majority achieved at the comfortably this time around.

There were 498 votes (80.2%) in favour of admitting women members, with 123 votes (19.8%) against.

Last May, the result of the first postal ballot to admit women members fell 14 votes short of what was required, sparking outrage from then Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Muirfield was promptly removed from its position on The Open rota with chief executive of The R&A, Martin Slumbers, saying that it would not continue to take the event to a club that upheld such a membership policy.

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Last month, though, Slumbers dangled the carrot to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers – hinting at a swift return to the rota if a ‘Yes’ vote was achieved.

“I’m very pleased that they are having a second vote,” Slumbers told Golf Digest last month. “Muirfield is a wonderful course and it is a great Open venue. We will make an announcement very quickly after the result of the vote is known.

If Muirfield is reinstated to The Open rota, the earliest it is likely to host the event is 2022.

The East Lothian venue last hosted The Open in 2013, where Phil Mickelson claimed his fifth major title and what is still his most recent professional win.

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