Slumbers: Brexit Has Caused Significant Concern For Open

The R&A Chief Executive says that Brexit will have an impact on this year's tournament

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The R&A Chief Executive says that Brexit has had an impact on this year's tournament

Slumbers: Brexit Has Caused Significant Concern For Open

Brexit is the big talking point in politics right now and it is having an affect on almost every industry, including golf.

One huge aspect of the UK's departure from the European Union is the Northern Ireland - Ireland border issue, and this year's Open Championship takes place at Royal Portrush with the tournament visiting Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951.

The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29th March, although recent negotiations could see that date pushed back to the summer.

The R&A's Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said that Brexit has caused struggles for the tournament (opens in new tab), which takes place in July but needs months to build the infrastructure needed.

"Like every business, and I think about The Open as such, the lack of certainty about the rules, the law in which we are operating under post-March 29 has caused us significant concern," Slumbers said.

"In hindsight, would I be wanting to do Portrush in the year that we would be potentially leaving the European Union without a deal? No."

"The future of the border is the No. 1 concern. We have over 2,000 containers to get across the Irish Sea, and we start building on April 2," Slumbers said.

"The problem is we don't know whether to reschedule to bring all our containers in through Dublin, whether to move them through Belfast, or whether to ship them out of the UK now."

"Someone said to me when I was out for the Latin American amateur championship 'You must be looking forward to Portrush' and I said well actually I'll be quite pleased when it's over."

More concern for the tournament came earlier this month when airline Flybmi collapsed.

The carrier flew from a number of airports to Derry in Northern Ireland, some 30 miles from Portrush.

The tournament takes place from 18th-21st July, with Francesco Molinari the defending champion.

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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x