In a blistering column that says the golf world must sever all ties with Trump, Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch said the PGA has been debating for two years the need to move the major championship and, once Trump is out of office, will announce the tournament will be played elsewhere:
“The odds that ’22′s PGA Championship will happen as scheduled in New Jersey are about as good as the chances of you or I winning it. Seth Waugh, the PGA of America’s CEO, was a banker and has an alert eye for high-risk exposure. He knows that Trumpism is likely to be an equally incendiary force in the ’22 midterm elections and that any affiliation is poisonous. Waugh will be forced to move the event and face down a small but vocal faction of his membership who remain true believers. Moving its major from Trump National has been debated internally at the PGA for more than two years, but executives have been reluctant to antagonize a famously vindictive man who controls the Internal Revenue Service. Such concerns melt away in 10 days, if not sooner.”
Lynch, like Washington Post columnist Barry Svrluga, says professional golf — including some of its biggest celebrities, like Tiger Woods, Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam — has angered many fans by cozying up to Trump. But, Lynch says, “the events of January 6 that left five people dead ought to make him a pariah everywhere. Including in golf.”
“Reputations too have been left bruised in the eyes of many golf fans. Like those of Jack Nicklaus and Nancy Lopez, both of whom have long been celebrated for their character and rectitude. Both supported Trump in the waning days of the election campaign, despite clear signs he would not accept any result he didn’t like. …
“Arguably even more sullied are the reputations of Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam, who attended the White House to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the man who just one day earlier had incited the mob that killed a police officer.”
In the end, Lynch says, golf will be seen as the elitist game Trump played while the country burned:
“The game will instead be portrayed as Trump’s refuge, something he did while ignoring a pandemic that has claimed 365,000 lives, refusing to acknowledge a resounding electoral defeat, and inciting feeble-minded fascists to violence that left five people dead at the opposite end of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
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