• Open Championship

Scottish minister Salmond's Open Championship boycott

ESPN staff
July 4, 2013
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond will boycott the Open Championship at Muirfield © PA Photos

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond will not attend the Open Championship in protest at Muirfield's stance as a men-only club.

A keen golfer, the Scottish National Party leader refused an invitation to attend golf's oldest major, set to be held at the club which is formally known as the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

  • The Open Championship will tee-off on July 18 and ESPN will have all the news, views and features from Muirfield - along with an in-depth GolfCast from all four rounds.

"I just think it's indefensible in the 21st century not to have a golf club that's open to all," Salmond told the BBC.

"If Muirfield had the Honourable Company of Women Golfers as well and had a women's company who played the course - some clubs do that and that's pretty acceptable.

"But to have the message that women are not welcome as members, can't be members and can't have playing rights over the course on the same basis as men seems to send out entirely the wrong message about the future of golf."

A spokesman added: "The First Minister will not be at Muirfield, but he wishes everyone involved all the best for a great tournament.

"His views on single-sex golf clubs are well-enough known, but we are sure this year's Open will be another fantastic advert for Scotland, and we expect tourism minister Fergus Ewing to attend for the Scottish Government."

Salmond's views on single-sex golf clubs are well-known, and he once made St Andrews the subject of his annoyance over its policies surrounding female golfers.

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