Rory McIlroy has said it is "obscene" and "horrendous" that it took two votes for golfers at Muirfield to decide to allow women to become members.
The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (HCEG), which owns the Muirfield course, voted on Tuesday to admit women as members for the first time in its history.
I mean it’s, in this day and age, where you’ve got women that are like the leaders of certain industries and women that are heads of state and not to be able to join a golf course? I mean it’s obscene. It’s ridiculous. So, they sort of saw sense. I still think that it got to this stage is horrendous, he said.
Muirfield wouldn’t be one of my favourite Open rota courses, so no matter the decision yesterday, if it had been kept off The Open Championship rota, I wouldn’t have been that unhappy, McIlroy added.
Last May, the club narrowly rejected the motion to allow women members, prompting golf’s governing body, the R&A, to remove the Scottish course from the list of venues eligible to host the Open Championship, worth around £80m.
McIlroy, the world number three, backed the R&A’s move and has again criticised the club, despite the R&A putting Muirfield back on the list after Tuesday’s reversal.
At the time, members claimed foursomes and speedy play would be endangered and that women would not be up to the required standard.
Those members are unlikely to be socialising with the 27-year-old Northern Irishman, should the Open go back to the 2013 hosts.
I don’t get it. We’ll go back there for The Open Championship at some point and I won’t be having many cups of tea with the members afterwards.
The results of a second ballot were announced by club captain Henry Fairweather on Tuesday, with 498 votes in favour and 123 votes against in a turnout of over 92 per cent of members eligible to vote.
Other courses on the Open rota have voted to allow women members, with St Andrews, Royal St George’s and Royal Troon doing so since 2014, but until this week, Muirfield, the world’s oldest recorded golf club, held out against change.
However, women are unlikely to swamp the members’ areas anytime soon, as the HCEG says the waiting list for new candidates of either sex, is at least two to three years.
(c) Sky News 2017: McIlroy calls Muirfield’s delay in allowing women members ‘obscene’