One of pro golf’s most important tournaments was pulled from President Donald Trump’s course in Bedminster, New Jersey, days after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, officials said Sunday.
And hours after the Professional Golfers’ Association of America took the 2022 PGA Championship away from Trump, operators of the British Open said they had no intention of holding their Grand Slam tournament at the soon-to-be former president’s course in Scotland.
The PGA, in its statement, didn’t mention the riot but the move came four days after mobs, egged on by Trump’s continual false statements about election fraud, breached the Capitol in a failed effort to overturn the win of President-elect Joe Biden.
At least five people died, including a Capitol Police officer. The 2022 PGA Championship had been set to be played at Trump’s club in May of that year.
“The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster,” PGA of America President Jim Richerson said in a statement released by the PGA.
And then on Monday, Martin Slumbers, CEO of The Royal & Ancient Golf Club which operates the British Open, said that his slam has no intention of visiting Turnberry anytime “in the foreseeable future.”
“We had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future,” Slumbers said in a statement.
“We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances.”
In a video statement, the PGA’s Richerson said that playing at Trump’s club would be bad for business and that it could even hurt the sport itself.
“It’s become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver on many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission,” he said.
“It was a decision made to ensure that PGA of America and PGA professionals can continue to lead and grow our great game for decades to come,” he said.
The Trump Organization claimed in a statement that the PGA has “no right to terminate the agreement.”
“We have had a beautiful partnership with the PGA of America and are incredibly disappointed with their decision,” it said.
“This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement. As an organization we have invested many many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster,” it said.
It isn’t the first time pro golf’s hierarchy has had to blast its way out of a public relations sand trap set by Trump.
The 2016 WGC-Cadillac Championship was scheduled to be played at Trump National Doral near Miami before sponsors revolted over Trump’s comments as a presidential candidate that Mexican immigrants were “criminals, drugs dealers, rapists.”
The tournament was moved to Mexico City.
Even before his presidential run, Trump wasn’t a favorite of golf officials in the United Kingdom, where he had long sought to have the rotating British Open return to his Turnberry golf course in Scotland, where it was played in 2009.