Donald Trump’s course on the outskirts of Aberdeen will almost certainly not be hosting the 2019 Scottish Open, with Cruden Bay a more likely option.
It was claimed recently that Trump International Golf Links was currently the favoured venue for the £5.5 million event in two years’ time.
However, that possibility was essentially dismissed today by Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert due to the issue of “politics”.
Speaking at Dundonald Links, where the event is taking place this week, he said: “We’d love to go back to the Aberdeen area at some stage (Royal Aberdeen hosted the event in 2014) and, if we went back, we’d look at various courses.
“There are various criteria that come in. Royal Aberdeen was a great success, although some of the players thought it to be a bit too tricky.
“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.”
Turnberry, which Trump also owns, is currently waiting to find out when it will stage a future Open Championship, with the R&A likely to wait until his term as US President comes to an end before making that decision.
Trump has made no secret of the fact that he’d like to see an event like the Scottish Open staged at his highly-acclaimed Menie Estate course.
“The Scottish Open is coming,” he declared during a visit two years ago. “The Scottish Open wants to be here forever, they think this is the best course they’ve ever seen.”
The likelihood of that happening, though, as long as the Scottish Government is one of the event’s partners seems very slim indeed.
In a ground-breaking move, Dundonald Links is staging both the men’s and women’s Scottish Open in the space of three weeks.
The same thing is happening at Gullane next year and that is the plan for both 2019 and 2020 as well, with talks over a new contract expected to begin next year.
Due to it being a men-only club, Royal Aberdeen has been ruled out of the equation at the moment, with Cruden Bay now having emerged as a strong contender to host the 2019 event.