PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – The R&A held its annual meet-and-greet with the media on Wednesday at Royal Portrush and it didn’t take long for the usual question about The Open’s possible return to Trump Turnberry to come up.
The Open hasn’t been played at Turnberry, on Scotland’s west coast, since 2009. For some in the United Kingdom, the question has become politically charged since the course is owned by U.S. President Donald Trump and the R&A doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to return to the layout.
“We've talked about this many times in terms of it being part of the pool of courses; nothing's changed from the previous points and comments that I've made on that in respect to taking The Open there,” said Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive. “But it's absolutely one of the pool of 10 courses.”
Unlike the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, which are scheduled years in advance, The Open is currently slated to go to Royal St. George’s next year, St. Andrews in 2021 and Royal Liverpool in ’22.
The Open has been played at Turnberry four times but with the addition of Royal Portrush, the site of this week’s championship, to the rotation and St. Andrews slated to host the event every five years, it’s going to become increasingly difficult for Ailsa Course to move back into the lineup.