NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Donald Trump finally has a major in golf.
The 65-year-old real estate mogul, TV personality and casino owner is going to be the host for the U.S. Women's Open in 2017.
The executive director of the USGA told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday that Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., has been chosen as the site for the biggest event in women's golf that year.
“We are going to a wonderful facility that we think can host a great United States Women's Open Championship,'' USGA boss Mike Davis said. “That would be the standard answer for any national championship but we think Trump National is a fabulous facility that has two golf courses. And either course is good enough inside the rope as a test of golf.''
The USGA has not decided whether to play the tournament on the Tom Fazio-designed old course or new course, but the old is the front runner, Davis said.
Trump National, which is located roughly 45 minutes from New York City, was the site of the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur and Girls Junior championships.
“For all that comes with Donald as a business icon and media personality, he couldn't have been a more gracious host,'' Davis said. “He made sure the players, the spectators and championship golf were the stars.''
This will be the first U.S. Women's Open in New Jersey since 1987, when Laura Davies won a rain-plagued event that ended on a Tuesday.
This event will be in the USGA's backyard. It's offices are located in Far Hills, roughly a 10-minute drive from Trump National.
“We really get to showcase our museum and we get to showcase where we test balls and clubs,'' Davis said. “Far Hills is not the easiest place to find, so to get the golf world for a week here, it's very exciting and we will expose the campus.''
A formal announcement is scheduled for Thursday. Bloomberg and Golfweek were the first to report the awarding of the tournament.
This has been a big year for Trump, who owns about a dozen courses in North America and Europe. Earlier this year, he bought the Doral Hotel & Country Club – home of the Blue Monster course, and a host to numerous professional tournaments – for $150 million.
“People don't realize how much he does for golf,'' Davis said. “If you talk to the LPGA, he has hosted their final event down at the West Palm Beach (Fla.) course a fair number of times. Players like him, so I think (having him as the host) can add something to this.''
Trump National is located next to two major highways and it has room for plenty of parking, Davis said.
This year's Women's Open will be played at Blackwolf Run Golf Course in Kohler, Wis., while the New York area will host it in 2013, when it is played at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
“We are excited about getting back to the metropolitan area twice in a four- or five-year period,'' Davis said. “To come to New Jersey and be besides our headquarters is very exciting for us.''