In the wake of the Scottish Open losing Barclays as its title sponsor after a ten-year relationship, European Tour commissioner George O’Grady has ruled out American tycoon Donald Trump as the replacement to host the event. Well, at least for now. O’Grady says it’s not a possibility because The Donald’s new course, Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland, won’t be ready until 2014, according to Reuters.
Trump contacted O’Grady about the possibility of moving the event from the popular Castle Stuart course to his Trump International Golf Links at Balmedie near Aberdeen in Scotland that opens to the public on July 1.
“Trump has rung me twice, once from Australia and once from New York, offering commiserations and saying if there’s anything he can do to help,” O’Grady told reporters.
“But there is no way the Trump course will be ready until 2014. So we’re not going to go to his course, if we ever do, as it’s too early.”
O’Grady did give Trump optimism that his course could find its way on to the European Tour schedule at a later date.
“I’m on record as saying it’s spectacular and they’re doing everything to make it good, but it’s not going to be ready,” O’Grady said of Trump’s Balmedie course.
“He was saying if there was anything he could do, just ask.
“He’s in love with his golf course and his business, and the time may come I’m certain when his course will host a big golf event of some sort one day, because he wants it and the venue warrants it.”
As you may recall, the construction of Trump’s course was quite controversial and protested by local residents, environmental groups and even actress Tilda Swinton. In fact, the whole thing turned into a rendition of Mean Girls and The Donald went so far as to call one of the disgruntled property owners “dirty and sloppy.”
But nothing can stop The Donald, and his gazillion-dollar golf resort looks like it’s coming together nicely (at the cost of potential environmental issues and such!). Check out the pictures on the website — it looks quite scenic (hat tip to reader Barry for sending the link).
Meanwhile, O’Grady criticized Barclays for taking its sweet time to notify the Tour that the bank was ceasing its backing. The hope is to find a sponsor by year’s end, but O’Grady also indicated they couldn’t wait forever. It’d be a huge blow to lose another national open in Europe, especially in Scotland — you know, the home of golf.
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