Former President Donald Trump endorses Saudi golf league, says pros should ’embrace’ it

Donald Trump waves to the crowd at the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National in New Jersey.

Donald Trump waves to the crowd at the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National in New Jersey.

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Former President Donald Trump took to his new social platform to blast the PGA Tour and PGA of America and say pro golfers should “embrace” the new Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Trump, on his Truth Social platform on Wednesday, said the PGA Tour and PGA of America “have been taking advantage of the players for many years” and that “The ‘PGA’ has a maximum Tax Exempt Status, makes a fortune, and pays executives salaries higher than virtually any of the (sic) very talented players can make in a good year. LIV can change that!”

It’s the first time Trump has made public comments about the new league, of which Greg Norman is the CEO and commissioner. Two of Trump’s properties — Bedminster and Doral — will also play host two of the eight tournaments on the LIV Golf Invitational Series 2022 schedule, which begins next month in London. The PGA Tour did not grant releases for players who requested waivers to play in the London event. It’s still unclear which players will compete in the league, which offers $255 million in total purses.

The former president’s comments were made during PGA Championship week, which officially kicked off with the first round on Thursday. The tournament is being played at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., which was a replacement venue the PGA of America selected after it decided to strip the 2022 PGA Championship away from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, events at the U.S. Capitol.

At the time, the Trump Organization released a statement saying, “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.”

In his comments on Wednesday, Trump added that with Saudi Arabia backing the LIV Golf league, “unlimited amounts” of money would be available for players and charities. He also jabbed at the PGA of America for its beer prices at this week’s tournament, which had been a popular conversation topic early in the week.

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