Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump called the PGA Tour’s decision to move an annual golf event from Trump’s National Doral Miami resort to Mexico City a “sad” example of greedy corporate outsourcing that hurts American workers.
“No different than Nabisco, Carrier and so many other American companies, the PGA Tour has put profit ahead of thousands of American jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for local communities and charities and the enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of fans who make the tournament an annual tradition,” Trump said in a statement released Wednesday through The Trump Organization and obtained by The Miami Herald. “This decision only further embodies the very reason I am running for President of the United States.”
Trump quipped on Fox News on Tuesday night that he hoped the organizers “had kidnapping insurance” for the Mexico event.
PGA Tour officials claim that they reluctantly relocated the World Golf Championship from the Doral site, where it has been held since 1962. They were unable to find any U.S. sponsors to replace Cadillac, which declined to renew its contract for the 2017 games.
Grupo Salinas, a Mexican conglomerate, won the title sponsorship in an $18 million deal. The tournament will be rebranded the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship and held at a Mexico City course not yet determined.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem insisted in a Wednesday news conference that the move was unrelated to Trump’s divisive brand of politics, saying it was “fundamentally a sponsorship issue,” according to the Herald.
But Trump’s rhetoric about minorities has prompted the organization to cancel events at his properties before. After he called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals” in his presidential announcement speech last summer, the PGA pulled the 2015 Grand Slam of Golf from Trump’s Los Angeles golf course.
“While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on presidential politics, Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, USGA and PGA of America said in a joint statement at the time.
According to The Herald, Finchem said the PGA hopes to bring the World Golf Championship back to Doral as soon as the organization finds “the right property to resume our long-term involvement in the community.”
One unintended consequence of this year’s move is that only two WGC events will now be held in the U.S. For some of the golfers involved, at least, this isn’t such a bad outcome.
“They’re called ‘World Golf Championships’ events for a reason,” the world’s No. 1-ranked player, Rory McIlroy, said at a Wednesday press conference, according to The Herald. “I always thought having three of the four in the U.S. isn’t really spreading the game.”
“It’s quite ironic that we’re going to Mexico after being at Doral,” McIlroy added. “I guess we’ll just jump over the wall.”