In Scotland, a golf course will host the Women’s Open for the first time

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Little is left for the first developments at Muirfield, home to the golf club founded in the mid-19th century.

However, after hosting 16 men’s British Opens over 130 years, the women’s tournament kicks off at Scotland’s legendary Stadium for the first time on Thursday.

It was a long wait that seemed to drag on until May 2016, when members of the private club The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers voted against repealing its all-male membership policy.

The club was founded in 1744 in Leith, Edinburgh, and moved to the East Lothian site in 1891.

The result of this vote was called a “scandal” by four-time champion Rory McIlroy and “indefensible” by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the organizers of the World Open.

The stadium was immediately banned from hosting women.

In March of the following year, Muirfield was reinstated as the Open Championship venue after the club voted 80.2% in favor of admitting female members, achieving the two-thirds majority needed to overturn the 2016 vote.

It will be a special kind of thrill for Scottish golfer Catriona Matthew, who will go down in history as the first woman to launch into the Women’s Open at Muirfield, with the chance to experience a major tournament just a short distance from home.

“It’s an honor to be asked to do something like this,” Matthew told reporters on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old admitted she was “disappointed” with the initial vote to keep only male membership, but believes reversing the decision showed some progress.

The historic Muirfield Open marks the continuation of a historic week for women’s sport, after England won their first women’s Grand Slam on Sunday.

And with her second big win at the Evian Championships in July, Brooke Henderson racked up two wins in just over a month.

The 24-year-old Canadian has never finished lower than 16th in any of her previous five events.

“It’s so much fun to be a part of women’s golf, because it’s growing so much and we feel like we’re making a difference for future generations,” she explained.

After a three-month hiatus since March due to a blood clot, world number three Nelly Korda is enjoying every second of her return to the tour.

“I was so excited to participate in this event this year,” she said.

“I’m familiar with the history, and the fact that we’re going to be the first women’s championship here as well, that’s great.”

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