A prominent Muirfield member defended the Scottish golf club’s vote to continue to exclude women as members, a move that prompted the R&A to take Muirfield out of the British Open rota.
“It wasn’t so much a vote against the ladies as a vote against the media and the press telling us what to do. No-one likes being hammered all the time,” John Douglas, a former Scottish rugby player, told The Scotsman.
Douglas, 81, said those in the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers who pushed for the vote knew about the potential fallout.
“We knew what was going to happen with the R&A and The Open, but we feel that we had to prove a point with a strong bunch behind the vote.”
He went on to blast Rory McIlroy, a vocal critic of the Muirfield vote, essentially calling the 27-year-old Irishman a hypocrite for playing Augusta, a club that only recently began admitting women.
“It is ridiculous,” Douglas said of McIlroy. “You have Augusta with two women members and how can people like Rory McIlroy challenge us yet he goes and plays there[?] Is he telling everyone he is happy with two women being admitted there after all these years and it is now a mixed club… come on. These players are two-faced. Who are they kidding? It is a total farce.”
Following the vote last week, McIlroy told British media, “I think for golf’s image, as we are trying to break out of this stuffy, old image. We are trying to become more with the times and trying to do things to make golf faster, make golf cooler, make more people included. It’s not right to host the world’s biggest tournament at a place that does not allow women to be members. Hopefully Muirfield can see some sense and we can get it back on The Open rota.”