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R&A still mum on return to St. Andrews in 2015

SANDWICH, England--Will the British Open return to St. Andrews in 2015?

It wasn't the most germane topic discussed during the R&A's pre-tournament press conference Wednesday at Royal St. George's but the fact that R&A chief executive Peter Dawson continues to hem and haw on the matter seems peculiar.

The Home of Golf presumably will host the world's oldest major in four years time, considering that since 1990 the R&A has held the championship at the Old Course every five years. Last July--after another successful event at St. Andrews--Dawson had no official comment about being back again in 2015 but hinted such an outcome would be likely.
Twelve months later, it was more of the same. "We have a number of detailed issues that we're working on," Dawson said during the press conference. "I would be very surprised if you were surprised at what we announce about 2015."

Perhaps there's nothing to worry about and maybe the R&A has it right in not selecting courses too far in advance. The USGA has named venues for the U.S. Open through 2019 and the PGA of America has picked sites for the PGA Championship until 2018. So much lag time might actually be restrictive when it comes to contracts and expectations. Who knows in three or four years what conditions might be like? Maybe the economy goes in the tank again? Or maybe it rallies and locking in this early becomes a bad business decision.

For those anxious to make their reservations for the Auld Grey Toon, however, the sentiment is simple: Just get on with it.

--Ryan Herrington