Before we move on to The Open, Karen Crouse explores the dynamics involved with the Scottish independence referendum, including any possible impact on Scotland's Olympic golfers and The Open Championship. The September 18th vote takes place the same day the R&A votes on female membership opportunties. Don't you just love a good coincidence!
The Open, at least, is safe regardless of the vote. First Minister Alex Salmond, a huge golf nut, skipped The Open last year and may not be too tight with R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson.
Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R & A, spent part of Wednesday at Royal Aberdeen, where his path briefly crossed Salmond’s on the 10th hole. Dawson stopped to talk with Mickelson and a few others but did not address Salmond, who skipped last year’s Open for the first time in two decades in protest of host Muirfield’s all-male membership policy.
On the same day as the Scottish referendum balloting, the R & A, also all-male, will decide whether to allow female members. How either vote will turn out is anybody’s guess, but an R & A spokesman, Malcolm Booth, cleared up one uncertainty.
“The Open Championship is, and always has been, golf’s most international major championship,” he said. “Historically, it has been played in Scotland, England and Ireland, and that will continue regardless of the outcome of Scotland’s vote on independence in September.”