Muirfield ruled out as Open venue after vote against women's membership


Muirfield will not be considered as a potential venue for The Open after members of the East Lothian club voted against allowing women to join.

The Open has been hosted by Muirfield 16 times with greats of the game including Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo hoisting the Claret Jug there.

Phil Mickelson's win in 2013 was set against the backdrop of criticism aimed at the Open's governing body, the R&A, for taking the tournament to a venue that did not allow women to play.

Members are reported to have opted against changing their rules over female membership by a vote of two to one.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: "We have consistently said that it is a matter for the Honourable Company to conduct a review of its membership policy and that we would await their decision.

"The R&A has considered today's decision with respect to The Open Championship. 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.

"Given the schedule for staging The Open, it would be some years before Muirfield would have been considered to host the Championship again.

"If the policy at the club should change we would reconsider Muirfield as a venue for The Open in future."