DONALD Trump's Turnberry course may miss out on hosting an Open championship while he remains President as the situation is "very complex at the moment" the Royal & Ancient chief executive has admitted.

Trump Turnberry remains in contention to host golf's oldest major tournament - but would not now be on course to feature for at least another five years. It last hosted the tournament nine years ago.

The R&A, the St Andrews-based governing body which organises The Open, spoke about the prospect of hosting the tournament at the US President's course after it was confirmed that the 150th championship was going to the Old Course at St Andrews in 2021.

Loading article content

Turnberry's next chance of hosting an Open would be 2023 as the 2022 tournament is expected to held in England with Royal Lytham and St Anne's due to host it.

HeraldScotland:

But according to the championship rota, the next two Open's would be held at Muirfield and then Royal Liverpool.

Turnberry would have been in poll position to host it next year, but the R&A instead awarded it to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland which last hosted the tournament in 1951.

This would leave Turnberry off the rota until 2024 at the earliest, the last year that Trump can be President if he wins a second term. R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: “We have criteria for which courses we want to go to, and part of that is macroeconomics. Clearly part of that macroeconomics is about politics.

“It would be very complex having an Open at Turnberry at the moment. It’s a course where you’ve got the ownership issue of the course and the staging there, and we want to make sure we stay true to the golf, the playing of the golf."

HeraldScotland:

He added: "There are a number of other courses we haven’t been to for a few years and we are looking forward to going back to all of them.

“Turnberry remains one of the 10 courses and will be under consideration every time we come back to Scotland.”

Mr Slumbers said he had not had direct contact with President Trump, but is in constant touch with the club.

After Trump's remarks calling for a ban on Muslims entering the US in late 2015, the R&A privately let it be known that the renamed Trump Turnberry may no longer host the game's most prestigious tournament.

Then prospects were blighted by controversial remarks made by Mr Trump in his campaign for the Republican nomination – about Muslims, Mexicans, Chinese and women, among others – and gave him a near-pariah status in the global game, raising the risk of a boycott by sponsors and international players.

Previously, the chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Martin Slumbers, had been expected to endorse Turnberry as a venue for the 2020 Open.

HeraldScotland:

But in June, 2015 Mr Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and called for a wall to be built along the United States-Mexico border. The comment, according to R&A insiders at the time, raised eyebrows about what might come next.

Since Trump became the US president, he has committed to building the wall, and brought in a ban on citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries from entering the US that was subsequently suspended.