Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States: The PGA of America Board of Directors has voted to exercise its right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster.
“It’s become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand,” said Jim Richerson, President, PGA of America, in a video message broadcast on the PGA of America website at www.pga.org.
He continued: “It would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver on many programmes and sustain the longevity of our mission. 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 that the PGA of America and the PGA Professionals can continue to lead and grow our great game for decades to come.”
Bedminster, located in New Jersey, had been awarded the tournament in 2012, before Donald Trump ran for the office of President.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America, echoed Richerson’s sentiments.
“We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making,” he was quoted as saying.
“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 PGA of America is an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Turnberry in Scotland is another venue owned by Trump. It has hosted The Open on four occasions, the last time being in 2009 when Stewart Cink defeated Tom Watson in a play-off.
In a statement released last night, Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “We had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future.
“We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances.”