Donald Trump says Carolyn Bivens did a 'horrible job'
Donald Trump knows a thing or two about running a business, and he’s none too impressed by how former LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens ran hers.“Other people want to be politically correct and say what a wonderful job she did,” Trump said in an exclusive interview Tuesday evening. “She did a horrible job. It’s a really sad thing what her regime did for this great group of unbelievably talented ladies.”Trump is more than a distant observer. From 2001 to 2008, the LPGA conducted its season-ending ADT Championship at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Fla. The tournament died this year when ADT and the LPGA couldn’t come to terms on a sponsorship deal. Trump blames the tour’s greed. According to Trump, ADT paid $3.8 million for sponsorship rights in 2008 and Bivens wanted the company to spend $12 million in 2009. “The commissioner said, ‘Take it or leave it,’ ” Trump says, and ADT President John Koch “couldn’t believe it.”“He’s too polite to say 'go screw yourself,'” Trump said. “So what he did is he bought time with the NBA and he took the Skills Challenge and did some other things. And then the LPGA came back to him and said, ‘Listen, we’ll take the number that you gave us [originally] and even less.’ But by that time John had spent his advertising money. “That’s horrible business,” Trump said. Trump also didn’t care for the way the LPGA handled his request to give a business associate of his a place in the ADT pro-am. The tour obliged Trump, he says, and then hit him up for the $5,000 entry fee.“Five thousand dollars!” Trump recalled thinking. “For what? We pay millions of dollars and you’re not going to give us one slot?”“They nickel-and-dimed us,” he said. “That’s the kind of thinking that was there. You really became incensed with dealing with these people.”Trumps’ beefs with Bivens don’t end there. He said the LPGA recently approached him about holding the LPGA Championship at his course in Bedminster, N.J. “They totally loved the course, and then we never heard from them again,” he said. (Trump told the New Jersey Star-Ledger last month that he declined the tour’s request because they wanted him to commit the course for more that one year.)Some pundits have suggested that Bivens’s aggressive style didn’t go down well because she was a woman, and that if she were a man, she would have been lauded as a tough, no-nonsense manager. Trump doesn’t buy it.“This has nothing to do with her being male or female,” he said. “This has to do with bad business decisions and bad business people and people who were absolutely not equipped to handle that job.”Trump also refutes the notion that her demise was triggered by the recession. “A tremendous step backward was taken [by the LPGA] over the past couple of years, and it’s not because of the economy,” Trump said. “What happened was that in bad times, she pushed too hard.”