By Joel Beall
The PGA of America will no longer be holding the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. The association announced its decision to move the championship on Sunday night.
“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. “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.”
The decision comes after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol on Jan. 6 during a joint session of Congress to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory. The assault left five people dead, including Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick. The event has led to growing calls for the PGA of America to distance itself from Trump, who owns the New Jersey course among a portfolio of golf properties.
In an interview with the Associated Press, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said his organization found itself “in a political situation not of our making.”
“We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that?” Waugh told the AP. “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 awarded its flagship event to Trump Bedminster in May 2014, prior to Trump announcing his bid for the United States presidency. Three years later the course hosted the USGA’s U.S. Women’s Open in 2017, which Trump watched on-site. In a statement to ABC News, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said the group was “extremely disappointed” with the PGA of America’s decision and that the PGA of America is in “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,” said a spokesperson for the Trump Organization. “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.”
This is not the first time the PGA of America has moved a scheduled event at a Trump venue. The PGA of America and Trump mutually decided that the 2015 Grand Slam of Golf should not be held at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles following Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants at a presidental rally. The event was eventually cancelled after being unable to find a host.
The PGA of America did not announce a new site for the 2022 PGA Championship, but sources tell Golf Digest that Southern Hills is one of the leading candidates. The Tulsa course, recently restored by Gil Hanse, has hosted four PGA Championships, and is scheduled to serve as the venue for the 2030 PGA Championship as well as the 2021 Senior PGA Championship.