/PGA of America pulls PGA Championship from Trump’s N.J. golf course – The Washington Post

PGA of America pulls PGA Championship from Trump’s N.J. golf course – The Washington Post


“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 our many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission,” Richerson said in a video posted to the organization’s website. “Our board has thus made the decision to exercise our right to terminate the contract to hold the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster.

“It was a decision made to ensure the PGA of America and the PGA professionals can continue to lead and grow our great game for decades to come.”

The PGA Championship is one of the four majors in men’s golf, and therefore it was scheduled to be the most prestigious event ever held at a Trump property. His New Jersey course hosted the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, and his course in Loudoun County, Va., hosted the Senior PGA Championship that same summer.

Since Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, PGA of America spokespeople had not responded to questions about the organization’s intentions about the 2022 PGA. The group made no announcement about a replacement venue.

“We have had a beautiful partnership with the PGA of America and are incredibly disappointed with their decision,” a Trump Organization spokeswoman said in a statement. “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. 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.”

The PGA of America’s decision came at a moment when some of Trump’s most stalwart allies — in politics and in business — were deserting him. The world of big-time golf had remained loyal to Trump through almost all of his presidency; the sport’s stars made appearances at his clubs, and golf legends visited the White House to receive presidential awards.

But on Sunday, days after Trump incited a riot that left a police officer and four others dead, it appeared that even the world of pro golf wanted to distance itself.

Trump still owns his business, though he says his adult sons have been running it while he is in office.

The Trump Organization has suffered in recent years from political backlash, including during Trump’s first presidential campaign, when the organizers of another golf tournament left Trump’s Doral course in Florida because of the candidate’s rhetoric about immigrants.

Then, in 2017, a slew of charities canceled lavish galas and luncheons at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club after Trump said there were “very fine people” among White supremacist protesters in Charlottesville.

Now last week’s events have caused other business partners to cut ties.

The e-commerce firm Shopify said it would no longer host the Trump Organization’s online retail store, which sold T-shirts, hats, scented candles and bath bombs with the Trump name. That retail site, trumpstore.com, generated about $900,000 in revenue for the president’s company in 2019, according to Trump’s annual financial disclosures.

“Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause,” Shopify said in a statement.

On Friday, real estate brokerage firm JLL said it would no longer represent Trump’s company in its efforts to sell the Trump hotel in downtown Washington. That hotel — which has consistently run half-empty during its four years of existence — was offered for sale in 2019, then pulled off the market after the pandemic decimated the hotel business.

JLL “is not going to be involved in selling that hotel,” a firm spokesperson said. The company did not cite a reason, but the decision to end its relationship with the Trump Organization happened after the riot.

Trump has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, to four golf pros. The most recent time was the day after the Capitol breach, when Trump gave medals to golfers Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player in a closed-door ceremony and gave a posthumous award to golf legend Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

The 2022 PGA Championship was supposed to be the high point of Trump’s relationship with the game, bringing one of golf’s most high-profile events to a course that Trump treats as a second home. The PGA awarded this tournament to him in 2014.

In recent days, however, the PGA had come under increasing pressure to cut ties with Trump. Steve Schmidt of the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump political group, tweeted that the PGA should move the tournament — seemingly promising political attacks if it did not.

“We have a long list. It’s best to stay off of it,” Schmidt wrote on Twitter.

Original Source