Muirfield finds the light thanks to… women

Banned for women as members just five years ago, Muirfield is hosting a women’s British Open this week for the first time in its history. A decision that puts the legendary Scottish course back on sale in the rotation of The Open.

Lionel VELLA

British Open entry host between 1892 and 2013, Muirfield became ” persona non grata in the eyes of Regal and ancient, which determines which venues receive the oldest of golf’s Majors each year. The famous institution had indeed not digested this vote of May 2016 where the members of the venerable Edinburgh Golfers Company ruled out the idea of ​​women entering as members of the club. With 14 votes…

Taking note of this decision from another time, the R&A had then ” canceled until further notice » Muirfield’s name in the rotation of The Open. A serious warning shot – Muirfield is, it should be remembered, the 3rd most visited site by The Open after Saint Andrew (30) and Prestwick (24) – which forced its same members, exclusively male of course, to review their copy before proceeding to a second vote in March 2017.

Our children and our children’s children don’t understand why we were playing in a men’s only club

Vote who finally accepts the fairer sex in its midst. ” Our children and our children’s children do not understand why we were playing in a men’s club. The past is the past. Progress guides our steps… “, explained then Douglas Connonmember of the club’s board of directors.

This “return to grace” has however not been followed up since Muirfield still does not appear in the calendar of future destinations for The Open. the royal liverpool host the event in 2023. We will then go to Troon in 2024 before a new escapade towards portrush in 2025, just six years after the victory of Shane Lowry in Northern Ireland.

What about Muirfield? It is rumored that 2027 could be attributed to him. Fourteen years after the success of Phil Mickelson. In the meantime, and to show that the course of Gullane (East Lothian) is now firmly anchored in the 21st century, between Thursday and Sunday it receives the 22nd edition in Major mode of the AIG Women’s Open.

After’US Women’s Open ($10 million endowment) and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (9 million dollars in endowment), the British female is the best endowed with 6.8 million dollars. Last year, the prize-money was 5.8 million while in 2020, it did not exceed 5 million (4.5 million). This sensible revaluation will allow the winner to pocket a nice check for 1,020,000 dollars (compared to 870,000 in 2021).

Winner last year Carnoustiethe Swedish Anna Nordqvist will attempt the double, exploits that only the Taiwanese Yani Tseng had achieved in 2010 and 2011. All the best specialists are at the start. Of the top 20 in the world as of August 1, 2022, only the South Korean Min Jin Park and the American Danielle Kang, respectively number 15 and 16 in the world, are absent. We will obviously follow the Canadian Brooke Hendersonworld n°5, victorious in Evian a fortnight ago but also the many Korean golfers like Jin Young Ko (world number 1), Hyo Joo Kim (#8), To Gee Chun (n°11 and winner of the last PGA Championship) and Sei young Kim (n°12), or the New Zealander Lydia Koin the form of his life with five top 5 finishes in his last six starts.

29th Major for Céline Boutier

Three French women are also involved in this final Major of the season. Second at the Scottish Open last weekend, Celine Boutier, 17th in the world, regained confidence after his disappointment in Evian (missed cut). The Francilienne based in Dallas (Texas) is playing her 29th Grand Slam tournament, her 8th British Open. She remains on two missed cuts in a row in this competition but had finished 6th at Milton Keynes in 2019.

Perrine Delacour, 125th in the world, takes part in her 3rd British. La Picarde, who had hosted the first three laps at theAmundi Evian Championship before cracking on Sunday, never missed a cut. She finished 39th in 2020 at Troon before taking 34th place last year at Carnoustie.

Finally, named this Monday in North Berwick (Scotland) after three play-off holes, Celine Herbin39 years old, starts in her 5th British where she crossed the cut twice (61st in 2018, 51st in 2020).

Photo: Mark Runnacles/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

Leave a Comment