PGA dumps Trump golf course as tournament venue

Donald Trump’s Bedminster resort has been stripped of hosting one of the world’s biggest golf tournaments, as the sporting world joins politicians and corporate groups in breaking with the US president following the riot that engulfed the US Capitol last week.

The PGA of America, the body that runs professional golf events in the US, announced it would move the 2022 PGA Championship away from the New Jersey-based course in the latest blow to an increasingly isolated US president.

Mr Trump, a keen golfer whose hotels empire includes golf resorts in the US, in the UK and in Dubai, has long sought to capture the sport’s biggest events in an effort to boost the image of his properties. 

Next year’s PGA Championship would have been the first time a Trump-owned course had hosted one of the four annual “major” tournaments in men’s golf — and with it a much-craved global spotlight during his post-presidency.

Yet, the culturally conservative US golf establishment has moved to distance itself from Mr Trump, just as previously supportive Republican politicians and business leaders have broken away from the president after his supporters stormed the US Congress last week.

The PGA of America did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but its chief executive Seth Waugh said in an interview with the Associated Press: “We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making. We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that?

“Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”

The Trump Organisation did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, in a statement to US media outlets, it said: “This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement. As an organisation 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 every level and remain focused on operating the finest golf courses anywhere in the world.”

Mr Trump owns one other venue that is seen as capable of holding one of golf’s major tournaments: the Turnberry course in Scotland. It is on a rota of 14 UK-based courses that can be awarded the event in future. 

The R&A, which runs The Open, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it was also considering taking Turnberry off The Open rota while the venue remained in Mr Trump’s ownership.

The story was corrected to reflect that the R&A – not the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews – runs The Open.

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