London: Scottish golf course Muirfield has lost its status as a British Open venue after voting against admitting female members, the sport's joint ruling body the R & A announced yesterday.
A proposal to allow female members did not receive the required two-thirds majority needed, with 387 members — or 64 percent — voting in favour and 219 members — or 36 percent — voting against.
The R&A — encompassing the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews — reacted immediately by announcing that Muirfield will no longer be selected as a venue for the Open, which is golf's oldest major.
"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," said R&A CEO Martin Slummers in a statement. Scotland's political leader, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, branded Muirfield's decision "indefensible".
In an open letter to members of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (HCEG), the club, located to the east of Edinburgh, had recommended that they vote in favour of the resolution.
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