Former President Donald Trump slammed the PGA Tour in a post on social media this week, encouraging professional golfers to leave and join Saudi Arabia’s new LIV Golf.
Trump’s post comes as the PGA Tour has struggled with players leaving and joining LIV Golf, including Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
“All of those golfers that remain ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its different forms, will pay a big price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ from PGA officials who are making Millions of Dollars a year,” Trump wrote. “If you don’t take the money now, you will get nothing after the merger takes place, and only say how smart the original signees were. Good luck to all, and congratulations to really talented Cam Smith on his incredible WIN!”
The PGA Tour was set to hold the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump’s Bedminster course, but reversed course on the decision after the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Jim Richerson, PGA of America President, said in a statement on January 10, 2021, “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.”
“The PGA of America is [a] nearly 105-year-old association with a perpetual mission to serve its member golf professionals and to grow the game,” Richerson later added. “Fulfilling that mission for all and enabling PGA professionals to do so today and in the future is of paramount importance to the PGA board of directors and our leaders.”
“It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand,” he continued. “It would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver our many programs 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,” he concluded. “It was a decision made to ensure that PGA of America and the PGA professionals can continue to lead and grow our great game for decades to come. Thank you for your continued support and passion for the game we all love.”
Trump is now letting LIV Golf host a tournament at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, saying in an interview earlier this year that they approached him and asked to use the course.
“I made a deal with them. They’re very good people,” Trump said. “They’re very fine people. Greg Norman’s been a total gentleman, you know, and he’s wanted to do this for years and now he has the right backers because, you know, [the Saudi money] is unlimited. They can do the job right. I think when you put up first-place prize money for $6 or $7 million, I think a lot of people are gonna be showing up, to be honest with you.”