In a column posted on Saturday evening, Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch foresaw the PGA of America making a move regarding its 2022 PGA Championship.
A day later, that prediction became a reality.
At 10:01 p.m. ET Sunday night, the PGA of America announced that Trump Bedminster would no longer be the host of a major championship in 2022. The news comes just days after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters broke in and caused chaos at the United States Capitol.
“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,” came a Tweet from Jim Richerson, PGA of America President.
According to Lynch, moving the 2022 PGA Championship has been debated internally at the PGA of America for more than two years, but executives had previously been reluctant.
"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
This comes less than a week after a woman was shot and killed, and four others died as a pro-Trump mob battled police, broke into the U.S. Capitol and swept through the halls of Congress.
This isn’t 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 when he made a comment about Mexican immigrants.
“We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making,” Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview. “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.”
A spokesperson for the Trump organization released the following statement on Sunday night:
“We have had a beautiful partnership with the PGA of America and are incredibly disappointed with their decision,” the statement read. “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.”
Where is the event headed?
Lynch said during a Sunday night segment on Golf Channel that Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa and Liberty National Golf Club — which is less than 30 minutes from Trump Bedminster — are being considered by PGA of America officials as potential replacements.
Either way, this severs ties with Trump’s golf properties, at least for the foreseeable future. The Senior PGA Championship was held at Trump’s course outside Washington in 2017, and the USGA held the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump Bedminster that year as well.
But no other events are now linked to the Trump Organization’s family of courses, which currently sits at 17, but was expected to increase to 20 in the future.
“This is not because of any pressures we feel. We’re not being forced into a decision,” Waugh told the AP. “We had to make a business decision. It’s a perpetual institution. My job is to hand it off better than when I found it. One hundred years from now, we still want to be vibrant.”