KABALOA, Hawaii (AFP) – The PGA of America severed ties with President Donald Trump when it voted Sunday to ban the PGA championship event from the New Jersey golf course next year.
The vote comes four days after Trump sparked riots in the nation’s Capitol building, as Congress was witnessing President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory. It is the second time in just over five years that the US PGA has removed one of its events from the Trump cycle.
PGA President Jim Richerson says the board voted to exercise its right to “terminate the agreement” with Trump National in Bidminster, New Jersey.
“We find ourselves in a political situation that is not of our own making,” said Seth Wu, CEO of the US company PGA, in a telephone interview. “We are entrusted to our members, to the game, to our mission and to our brand. How do we better protect that? We have felt the tragic events of Wednesday that we can no longer keep in Bidminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”
PGA of America, which has around 29,000 golf professionals who mostly study the game, signed the deal with Trump National in 2014.
It canceled the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in 2015 at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles after Trump’s demeaning remarks about Mexican immigrants when he announced that he was seeking the Republican nomination for president. The event was permanently canceled the following spring.
Wednesday’s horrific revolt shook the country, and in golf circles, attention was quickly focused on whether PGA of America would retain its first championship – and one of the four major golf tournaments – at Trump’s Course in 2022.
“Our decision was not about speed or timing,” Wu said. “What matters most to the board and leadership is protecting our brand, our reputation, and the ability of our members to drive the growth of the game, which they do through many powerful programs in their communities.”
The Trump Organization said in a statement, “It has a lovely partnership with the US PGA and is very disappointed with its decision.”
“This is a breach of a binding contract, and they have no right to terminate the agreement,” the statement said. As an organization, we have invested many, many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster. We will continue to promote the game of golf on all levels and we will continue to focus on operating the best golf courses anywhere in the world. “
Waugh declined to say whether the US PGA expected any legal challenges from the Trump Organization.
Trump had given a speech to his supporters in which he repeatedly made unfounded allegations that the election was stolen from him and urged them to “fight.”
They stormed the U.S. Capitol while lawmakers were in the process of validating President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. After storming the building, a violent crowd stormed the building and sent terrified employees and lawmakers into hiding. Five people, including a police officer, were killed in the Capitol.
new ABC News / Ipsos Poll It found, released Sunday, that 67% of respondents said Trump deserves a “good amount” or “a great deal” of blame for the rebellion.
This is not due to any stress we are feeling. “We are not obligated to make a decision,” Wu said. “We had to make a business decision. It’s a permanent establishment. My job is to deliver it better than it was when I found it. A hundred years from now, we still want to be active.”
The US PGA, which operates separately from the PGA Tour and the Weekly Championships, previously held the Senior PGA Championships at the Trump Tournament outside of Washington in 2017. This was the same year the USGA organized the US Open Women’s Championships at Trump National. In Bedminster.
Trump also owns Turnberry in Scotland, which is one of the most picturesque links in the British Open, the most famous being “Duel in Sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in 1977, and recently Stuart Sink defeated the 59-year-old Watson. 2009. R&A, which defines the British Open, has not returned to Turnberry since Trump took office.
He also owns Trump Doral outside Miami and has for years been a revered stopover on the PGA Tour schedule and most recently the site for the World Golf Championships. Trump’s presence made it difficult to find a sponsor for the company, and the tournament moved to Mexico in 2017.
Waugh said the US PGA already has a team in New Jersey to start working on selling events to public and local sponsorship. Now it’s all about finding a place to play the PGA Championship, which dates back to 1916, for the next year.
PGA is located on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, in May.
“We have a number of places that are already reaching us,” Wu said. “We think we’ll have a bunch of options.”