(AP) — Donald Trump says the golf industry supports him because “they know I’m right.” Four leading golf organizations said he’s wrong.
The PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, USGA and PGA of America broke their silence Wednesday – but only briefly – to say that Trump’s views on Mexican immigrants and his opinion that golf organizations are behind him are not accurate.
In an interview with Golf Channel, Trump said he has received “tremendous support” from the golf world “because they all know I’m right.”
“In response to Mr. Trump’s comments about the golf industry `knowing he is right’ in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations,” the joint statement said. “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.”
Trump has a golf portfolio that includes 18 courses that are either open or being built, some of which are scheduled to host events by all the organizations in the joint statement. While the golf organizations spoke out against Trump’s comments, they declined additional comment on plans to play tournaments on Trump courses.
Trump Turnberry on the west coast of Scotland will host the Ricoh Women’s British Open this summer on the LPGA Tour, though that event is run by the British-based Ladies Golf Union. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said in an email there were “no plans to alter any of our upcoming venues.”
The PGA of America has moved its Grand Slam of Golf from Bermuda to Trump National Los Angeles. The two-day exhibition for the year’s major champions is held in October. The PGA Championship is to be played at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey, in 2022, while the Senior PGA Championship is to be held at Trump National in Potomac Falls, Virginia in 2017.
The USGA is holding the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National in Bedminster in 2017.
The PGA Tour is played at Trump Doral, which the Republican presidential candidate bought in 2012, and the Puerto Rico Open is played at Trump International, though tournament director Sidney Wolf said the course is owned by a local family.
“I’ve been great to golf,” Trump told Golf Channel. “I’ve been investing while everybody else was fleeing.”
The fallout has been far greater in the business and entertainment sectors dating to Trump’s saying in his presidential campaign announcement that some Mexican immigrants bring drugs and crime, and some are rapists.
He is struggling to hold his Miss USA pageant together after two television networks, performers, hosts and judges have pulled out. Also on Wednesday, Macy’s said it was ending its relationship with Trump. The department store had carried a Donald Trump clothing line since 2004.
Trump told Golf Channel that he was not worried about any fallout from employees at his own private golf clubs and resorts.
“I have Mexicans and South Americans working for me all over the country and believe me, they love me and I love them,” Trump said. “I think they’re great. I’ve had great support and I haven’t heard one negative thing and frankly I don’t expect to.”