R&A ends Trump’s Open dreams at Turnberry

There is one vote it seems American presidential candidate Donald Trump can definitely not count on…the Royal and Ancient.

It has been revealed that the magnificent Turnberry Golf Club in Ayrshire, now owned by Trump and renamed Trump Turnberry, has been taken off the rota to host the British Open.

Donald Trump Donald Trump (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

The billionaire American made no secret (does he ever?) of his ambition to one day hand over the Old Claret Jug to the winner of an Open Championship played on his famous Scottish course.

Now it seems that won’t be happening with some of his off-handed comments in the Presidential race not going down well with those who decide where the Opens will be played.

It was widely expected that the new chief executive of the R&A, Martin Slumbers would endorse Turnberry as the venue for the 2020 Open, the site of Stewart Cink’s exciting playoff win over Tom Watson the last time it was played there in 2009.

The first inkling there could be a problem occurred a few months back when former chief executive of the R&A Peter Dawson, was asked if Turnberry’s place on the Open rota had been compromised.

Dawson’s reply was: “We’ll just let a bit of time pass. The championship committee will deal with that.”

Trump bought Turnberry’s course and resort in April last year and it was renamed Trump Turnberry with a £200m upgrade promised.

The purchase appeared to give the property tycoon the near-guarantee that when the Open did come to ‘his’ Open championship course, he would be centre-stage alongside the R&A chiefs on the 18th green for the presentation.

It is now evident the R&A are not prepared to take the risk of Trump causing them any embarrassment.

And as one official suggested: “2020 will not happen but Turnberry will be back. But perhaps not as Trump Turnberry.”

Even after his remarks about Muslims, Mr Trump still leads current polls of Republican voters with about 35 per cent, double his nearest rival, Ted Cruz.