The Donald Trump-owned course on the outskirts of Aberdeen is set to be overlooked as a venue for the 2019 Scottish Open.
Trump International Golf Links was in the running to host £5.4m event in two years’ time and was reportedly in “pole position”, but the tournament is now likely to be held elsewhere.
The event has not been held in Aberdeenshire since Justin Rose won at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in 2014, with the tournament sponsors keen to return to the area in the near future.
Cruden Bay is now the favourite to host the event, with Martin Gilbert – the chief executive of tournament sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management – citing “clear issues” around President Trump.
“We’d love to go back to the Aberdeen area at some stage and, if we went back, we’d look at various courses,” Gilbert said. “The (European) Tour have been to see Cruden Bay. The thing is there we’d have to do a composite-type course.
“Trump, I don’t need to tell you, is a great golf course, but there are issues if we went there. The worst thing would be if he came! No decision has been made but look, there are clear issues, shall we say.
“Politics aside, Trump would be an ideal venue, but you can’t put politics aside. That is the issue so we will wait and see.”
The Trump-owned Trump National in New Jersey is hosting this week’s US Women’s Open, with the United States Golf Association (USGA) executive director Mike Davis saying in May that the organisation would not “cross the line into politics.”
Next year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will be held at Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian, the same course which will host the 2018 Ladies Scottish Open.