Ultimate affront to Donald Trump. Its Bedminster (New Jersey) golf course was to host the 2022 US PGA Championship, one of four golf grand slam tournaments (the equivalent of the US Open tennis tournament, for short). In other words, a consecration for the course of Lamington Road, which had so far hosted 17 professional events, including the US Open women’s 2017.
It will ultimately not be. Four days after the uprising led by supporters of the US president on Capitol Hill, the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association of America), organizer of the event, decided to deprogram Bedminster from the official grid. “The PGA Board of Directors has voted to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to host the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster”, communicated Sunday Jim Richardson, its president, in a video published on the Internet site of the authority. “It became clear that holding the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to our brand and jeopardize our ability to maintain the sustainability of our mission.”, specifies the leader in the sequence.
“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.” — Jim Richerson, PGA of America President
— PGA of America (@PGA) January 11, 2021
It was the moment or never for American golf to distance itself from Trump, an inveterate fan of the discipline, who had made a habit of coming to breathe in his property built in 2004, during his four years of mandate. In recent years, and even more since his refusal to accept the election of Joe Biden, many people in the golf world have been urging them to do so. In a bitter chronicle urging to sever ties with the president and published on Saturday, the Golfweek news outlet claimed the PGA had been debating for two years whether to move the Major to another location. However, she was not at ease at the idea of upsetting a “Man deemed vindictive”. The events in Washington have lifted the last hesitations, especially since less than ten days of the passing of the presidential torch, the fear of possible reprisals no longer really holds.
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It was also necessary to strike hard after the controversy of January 7, when, twenty-four hours after the violence in Washington, Trump presented the medal of freedom to two former champions, the South African Gary Player and the Swedish Annika Sorenstam. Both immediately criticized after having accepted to be thus honored with the highest civilian decoration. The legend and face of the discipline, Tiger Woods, was also awarded this medal by Trump in May 2019. Banned from a discipline where he used to find refuge, Trump is more lonely than ever. abandoned by American sport.
Trump team denounces “breach of binding contract”
However, this is not the first time that golf across the Atlantic has come into conflict with the future-ex-president. In 2015, the PGA canceled the scheduled PGA Grand Slam at the Trump National Club in Los Angeles, after Trump, then a presidential candidate, made derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants.
The following year, the PGA decided to move a stage of the 2017 World Golf Championship to Mexico. Stage that was initially to be played at the Doral course, another property of Trump in Miami. The association then defended itself from any political significance linked to its decision. In contrast, the US Golf Association (the USGA, the governing body of golf in the United States and Mexico) had maintained the US Open for women in 2017 at Trump Bedminster despite sexist comments about women made by the billionaire during of his electoral campaign.
The Trump organization reacted in a statement Sunday evening, saying the decision to withdraw the PGA Championship 2022 was “A breach of a binding contract and they (organizers) do not have the right to terminate the agreement “.