Ian Woosnam: 'Absolutely right' to ban Muirfield from hosting the Open

By Michael PearlmanBBC Wales Sport
Ian Woosnam
Ian Woosnam was captain of the victorious European Ryder Cup team in 2006

Ian Woosnam says golf's governing body was 'absolutely right' to stop Muirfield hosting the Open Championship in the row over female members.

The R&A barred Muirfield as an Open venue after the club's members failed to overturn a male-only member policy.

This year's Open course, Royal Troon, has called a meeting in July to look at changing its own membership rules.

"I think the R&A was absolutely right," Woosnam told BBC Radio Wales ahead of the Wales Senior Open.

"If they (Muirfield) weren't hosting a major tournament there, then they can do exactly as they like.

"But if they want to have a major tournament like the Open, then everybody needs to be welcome.

"Troon might be changing and that is pleasing, they know what the situation is.

"Maybe they don't want to host the Open. It certainly doesn't seem like it."

Wales needs an Open course

Woosnam would like to see the Open Championship come to Wales, but admits a new course would be required.

The Celtic Manor resort, which hosts the Wales Senior Open, is not a links course, while Royal Porthcawl, which will host the 2017 Senior Open, lacks the infrastructure to deal with the scale of the oldest of golf's Majors.

The Celtic Manor hosted the Wales Open from 2000 to 2014, but Wales is currently not represented on the European Tour schedule

"No doubt about it, we need to have a national tournament in Wales and if it is not at the Celtic Manor, it needs to be somewhere else," Woosnam said.

"We should build our own golf course here in Wales to host the Open.

"Porthcawl is pretty good, but we should build to host the Open as it [Porthcawl] doesn't have the infrastructure around it.

"We need businessmen behind it, the Welsh Government behind it and build a proper course, it would generate revenue of millions and millions.

"There is plenty of land out there, let's do it."

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