Martin Gilbert, the title sponsor’s chief executive, talked during last month’s event at Castle Stuart about how it would be “good to back to Aberdeen and Gullane”, referring, of course, to the event having been staged in those places in 2014 and 2015 respectively. But was he referring to Royal Aberdeen, where Justin Rose claimed the title and Rory McIlroy used the event to help him become Open champion for the first time at Royal Liverpool the following week?
If he was, then 2018 is unlikely for a return to the Balgownie Links as it is already due to host the Amateur Championship then and the close proximity of the two events would surely rule out that possibility on its own.
That could point to Gullane being the likely venue in two years’ time, although perhaps Gilbert was talking about a different Aberdeen course.
It is believed, after all, that work is currently underway to provide spectator walkways at Trump International Golf Links at Menie Estate and that surely points to something brewing there.
It’s unlikely, of course, that an event involving the Scottish Government would be held in the current climate at a Trump venue, but who’s to say that bridges won’t have been rebuilt in two or three years’ time?