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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 17 August, 2019

Muirfield still won't let women in so loses right to host The Open

R&A remove Scottish course from rotation following controversial vote.

Muirfield last hosted the Open in 2013.
Muirfield last hosted the Open in 2013.
Image: Peter Morrison

MUIRFIELD GOLF CLUB in Scotland has been stripped of its status as an Open Championship host course after its members voted to remain a ‘male-only’ club.

The Scottish course has hosted the Open, the oldest of golf’s four Majors, on 16 occasions, most recently in 2013.

But governing body the R&A acted swiftly following today’s announcement to remove it from the course rotation.

“Going forward we will not stage The Open at a venue that does not admit women as members,” they confirmed.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led the criticism of Muirfield’s vote.

“Scotland has women leaders in every walk of life,” she wrote.”It is 2016. This is simply indefensible.”

A two-thirds majority was needed to reverse the policy and allow women members, but that proposal failed with a lobby group of 33 members leading the internal opposition to the change.

A number of British golf courses, including the famous St Andrews, overturned their rules in recent years and opened up their membership to women.

Royal Troon, the venue for this year’s Open, remains a male-only club but shares its facilities with Troon Ladies and will jointly host the tournament with the women’s club in July.

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Niall Kelly

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