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.
While the Professional Golfers’ Association of America did not mention the riot in its statement, the move came four days after the mobs, egged on by Trump’s continuous 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 in Wednesday’s violence, including a Capitol Police officer.
The 2022 PGA Championship had been set to be played at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, 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.
In a video statement, Richerson said that playing at Trump’s club would be bad for business and 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.”
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.”
This wouldn’t be 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 then-candidate Trump’s comments that Mexican immigrants were “criminals, drugs dealers, rapists.”
The tournament was moved to Mexico City.
Even before his presidential run, Trump was not 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.
NBC News reported last year that Trump asked his ambassador to the U.K., Robert “Woody” Johnson, to check if British government officials could help get the Open played at Turnberry.
Rex Hoggard contributed.
PGA pulls major 2022 tournament from Trump’s Bedminster days after deadly riot The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ NBC News.