THE result of a second ballot on admitting women members at Muirfield will be announced today, with a ‘yes’ vote set to see the course return to the Open Championship rota.
Henry Fairweather, the captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (HCEG) which owns and runs Muirfield, will announce the outcome at 11:30am outside the clubhouse.
After the first vote narrowly failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required in May last year, the R&A immediately announced that the East Lothian course would no longer be considered to host the Open.
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And speaking in February, chief executive Martin Slumbers intimated that the R&A would respond just as swiftly to a change in club policy as it did to the first result.
‘’Muirfield is a wonderful golf course, it’s a great Open venue,’’ Slumbers said.
‘’We’re very pleased they are going through that process and we wait to see the outcome. We would reconsider and make an announcement very quickly if that vote comes through positively.’’ When the schedule for the second ballot was made public, a statement from HCEG noted that: “Voting in favour of the resolution to admit women as Members is recommended, unanimously, by the captain, captain nominate and the club committee of the Honourable Company.’’ Muirfield has staged the Open 16 times and produced a who’s who of champions, including Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo (twice), Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson.
Speaking after the first vote, former Open champion Rory McIlroy said: ‘’They can do what they want, but in this day and age it’s not right to host the world’s biggest tournament at a place that does not allow women to become members.
‘’Hopefully they can see some sense and we can get it back there one day.’’