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Muirfield, British Open Part Ways as Female Member Ban Maintained

Image: Muirfield, British Open Part Ways as Female Member Ban Maintained
Henry Fairweather, chair of Muirfield Golf Club poses in front of the clubhouse on May 19, 2016 in Gullane, Scotland. Muirfield Golf Club has lost the right to host the Open Championship after it failed to rally a majority of male members behind the vote allowing women to join the club as members. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 20 May 2016 06:10 AM

Muirfield, a frequent host of the British Open, will no longer be a stop for one of professional golf's four major tournaments after voting to maintain its ban against women members.

The Guardian reported that the vote among Muirfield's members fell just short of the two-thirds majority its needed for the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which operates the course, to change its constitution. The final tally was 64 percent for and 36 percent against.

Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, which organizes the British Open, responded to the vote in a statement saying that Muirfield would need to change its policy in order to be considered for the prestigious event in the future.

"The Open is one of the world's great sporting events and going forward we will not stage the championship at a venue that does not admit women as members," Slumbers said.

"Given the schedule for staging the Open, it would be some years before Muirfield would have been considered to host the championship again. If the policy at the club should change we would reconsider Muirfield as a venue for the Open in future," he added.

BBC News reported Thursday that Scotland's Muirfield last hosted the British Open in 2013, which was won that year by Phil Mickelson. Recently, two other legendary UK golf courses that host the open regularly agreed to admit women members, the news publication noted.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews, which is more than 260 years old, began opening its doors to female members in 2014 while the Royal St. George's in Kent got rid of its ban against women last year.

Scotland's minister Nicola Sturgeon, the first woman to hold the position, criticized Muirfield's vote in a Twitter post.



The Royal Troon, which will host this year's Open in July, is currently reviewing its all-male policy and issued a statement that appeared to support the future inclusion of women, noted The Guardian.

"We care very much for the reputation of Royal Troon golf club and it is important the club, much like the wider game, reflects the modern society in which we exist," Royal Troon captain Martin Cheyne said in the statement.

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Muirfield, a frequent host of the British Open, will no longer be a stop for one of professional golf's four major tournaments after voting to maintain its ban against women members.
muirfield, british open, female, vote
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2016-10-20
Friday, 20 May 2016 06:10 AM
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