Slumbers: Trump Turnberry remains in Open rota


R&A clubhouse on the Old Course at St. Andrews. (Getty Images)

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers confirmed Monday that Trump Turnberry remains among the 10-course rotation for the Open Championship, but it could be a while before the claret jug is next decided along the Scottish links layout.

Turnberry last hosted the Open Championship in 2009, and in 2014 the course was purchased by real estate mogul turned presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Last year Trump's comments about immigrants drew the ire of multiple governing bodies and led to the cancellation of the PGA of America's Grand Slam of Golf, which was set to be held at Trump National in Los Angeles. By December, there were media reports that his newly-acquired coastal gem had been kicked out of the Open rota.

Speaking to a group of media members in his office at St. Andrews, Slumbers confirmed that Turnberry is still among the group of 10 venues that the R&A deems "the finest links courses in the country." But Open Championship hosts are currently set through 2019, and Slumbers noted that the Open won't head to Turnberry until 2022 at the earliest.

"We are in pretty final negotiations around 2020 and 2021 (venues), one of which will be in England and one of which will be here at St. Andrews," Slumbers said. "At no point during those negotiations, or certainly since I've been here, has Turnberry been a part of that. And as far as venues for 2022 and beyond, I don't have to think about that for a couple of years."

Slumbers succeeded Peter Dawson as chief executive last year, shortly after Trump Turnberry hosted the Ricoh Women's British Open. Trump was a regular presence early during tournament week, and Slumbers noted that should the Open head to Turnberry at some point in the near future, he would prefer the attention remain more on the action inside the ropes.

"I'd much rather see championships focus on the golf and what's going on," Slumbers told the U.K.'s Guardian. "We host the Open Championship to crown the champion golfer of the year on the Sunday night, and thankfully I think it's much better to focus on the golf because that's what we're there for."