But here we are, and some of the former champions couldn’t be happier. During the Celebration of the Champions Open at Old Stadium, 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry told LPGA.com that he spoke with Laura Davis about the upcoming AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield.
“It’s great for them (to play with Muirfield), Muirfield in my opinion is one of the best golf courses,” said Lowry. “Maybe it happened a little later (for the AIG Women’s Open) than it should have happened, but that’s fair play for them and for everyone to get to where it is now. I’d like to see the ladies out and play our open courts as well because they deserve it just as much as we do.”
The 2009 championship champ agrees with Laurie. “I’m excited about them,” said Stuart Sinek. “I think Muirfield belongs in the rotation of both the[Open Championship]and the Championship. It’s a fantastic course. Probably the test of the purest links of all the open spaces.”
High praise from the player who participated in twenty-three openings.
“They will be happy to play. And I will be watching. I will look forward to seeing him because I love Muirfield too. Good to hear that Muirfield, as a club, is kind of around the corner and hopefully in the future he returns to that rotation.”
Ernie Els won his first claret pitchers at Muirfield in 2002. His love for the place and his excitement for the ladies was evident.
“It’s great to see the women play at Muirfield. It’s great to see them play there. It’s obviously a great place and a great history. This is one of my favourites. Obviously, St Andrews, Muirfield and Litham,” said Els.
2015 Open Champion Zach Johnson is feeling lucky playing with Muirfield, and the women are happy to have the chance to compete for the main title there too.
“Muirfield is a gem,” Johnson said. “It is one of my favorite golf courses. To host any tournament there and be involved is great. I wish (the women) the best.”
Tom Lyman won the Open in 1996 and told LPGA.com by phone that he felt a duty for women to play at a classic venue like Muirfield. “It’s kind of a time,” Lyman said. “Augusta opened his course for the women’s amateur event and running the Open Championship at Muirfield, and I think it is a testament to how amazing the female golfers are today and how well they deserve to play on these amazing courses for the tournament, so I’m happy for the ladies and I’m proud of the clubs to do that. I think it’s a really good move.”
Tommy Fleetwood can’t wait to see the competition. He is very happy that the club is in full swing. “You’re in keeping with the times, right? Looking forward to watching the Muirfield Women’s Open,” Fleetwood said. “It’s a great golf course and championship level golf course, which I am sure I will enjoy watching.”
2017 Open champion Jordan Spieth is delighted with how far Muirfield has come to host her first women’s major.
“Obviously over time not letting anyone into the golf club and being open to everyone. So going there is definitely historic. I look forward to seeing some of them,” Speth said.
1999 Open Champion Paul Lowery plans to be in Muirfield for some of the AIG Women’s Open. One of the players he currently manages through Five Star Sports will be on the field.
It’s great (for the ladies),” Laurie said. “I am looking forward to getting down there and watching (Michelle Thompson) play some holes this week. Great course. The ladies will love it.”
Previous Muirfield champions include the likes of Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Ernie Els. Not a bad name list for this week’s AIG Women’s Open winner to be included with her.