PGA makes secret agreement to hide Trump’s economic loss from failed coup

A secret agreement has been reached between the Trump Organization and Professional Golfers’ Association of America, which decided to move the 2022 PGA Championship scheduled for the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, only days after then-President Donald Trump incited a mob of terrorists to mount a failed coup d’etat.

The deal settled any legal issues related to the decision to remove the 2022 PGA Championship from the New Jersey venue, which was awarded the tournament in 2014 and would have been the first men’s major championship contested at one of Trump’s golf properties.

“Trump National Golf Club lost the booking to host the championship tournament as a result of the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and not merely because Donald Trump was the loser in the 2020 election,”

The PGA Championship is considered to be one of four major tournaments that all professional golfers attend yearly, and the venues are established almost a decade in advance.

Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch anticipated the PGA move, reporting that it would cancel its deal to host the event at Trump’s golf course a day before the association announced that Trump Bedminster would not host its championship in 2022. The news comes just days after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the United States Capitol and caused chaos.

“Whatever the future holds for Donald Trump after the noon hour on January 20, the events of January 6 that left five people dead ought to make him a pariah everywhere. Including in golf,” said Lynch. “This game should not be the familiar bosom to which he can safely retreat while fending off indictments. He is finally and deservedly being expelled from civic life. He needs to be driven from golf, too.”

Consisting of nearly 29,000 men and women members, the PGA of America’s mission is to elevate the standards, interest and participation in the game of golf.

The 2022 PGA Championship was not the first time the Tour has canceled an event scheduled for a Trump property. In 2015, the Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National Los Angeles Golf Club was canceled after he made a comment about Mexican immigrants.

“We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making,” said Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America. “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 Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster,” said Jim Richerson, president of the PGA of America in a statement issued immediately after the decision to relocate the event. “It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminister 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.”

While a spokesperson for The Trump Organization argued that the business “invested many, many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster” and lost those funds because “they have no right to terminate the agreement” the PGA exercised an option to call off the deal but agreed to keep details secret in order to allow Trump to avoid exposure that might cost the disgraced former president other future revenue opportunities.

The PGA of America said that the 2022 PGA Championship will be played at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from May 16-22, 2022.  

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