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Open may not return to Muirfield for a decade

Despite the problems with the weather on Saturday, organizers, fans and players have all praised the organization and preparation at Muirfield - yet the Gullane based course may not host The Open again for another ten years.

Muirfield, one of the oldest courses in Britain, was founded in 1744 and has hosted 15 Open's since 1892.

But with St Andrews being used for the Open on a regular basis - scheduled to host The Open again in 2005 - and with Royal St George's hosting the Open next year and Troon in 2004 a return to Muirfield is distant.

Peter Dawson, the secretary of the Royal and Ancient said, "Right now we have nine venues which we use to put on the Open and we go back to St Andrews more regularly than to the others. So you can do the arithmetic as well as we can...

"Many of the links we use are members' clubs and you just need to have a look around to see how much we rip their courses apart and the amount of inconvenience we cause.

"It may be that (once every ten years) is about right on several points."

Other clubs in the running to host The Open before it returns to Muirfield will be Liverpool's Hoylake and Scotland's Turnberry.

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