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, 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
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV