Donald Trump might be winning delegates, but he’s losing a prestigious tournament.
The Republican presidential frontrunner told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday that the PGA Tour is moving its annual WGC-Cadillac Championship from Trump-owned Doral in Miami to a course outside Mexico City, ending a 53-year partnership with the resort.
The Donald sounded characteristically ambivalent about the breakup.
“They’re moving it to Mexico City which, by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance,” Trump said.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Trump slammed the PGA Tour’s decision to relocate.
“It is a sad day for Miami, the United States and the game of golf, to have the PGA Tour consider moving the World Golf Championships, which has been hosted in Miami for the last 55 years, to Mexico,” Trump said in a statement. “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. This decision only further embodies the very reason I am running for President of the United States.”
Tournament chairman Butch Buchholz confirmed the move, telling the Miami Herald that the Tour is leaving Doral because it couldn’t find a title sponsor.
“They’ve got an obligation to their board and they couldn’t find a sponsor so they had to move,” Buchholz said. “The PGA Tour didn’t have a choice. If you don’t have a sponsor what can you do? It had nothing to do with Trump.”
The Tour signed an agreement with the resort in 2013 to keep the tournament at Doral through 2023, but that contract included a provision allowing the Tour to move elsewhere if they were unable to find a title sponsor. Cadillac did not renew its sponsorship when it ended this year.
Following Trump’s controversial proposal to bar Muslim immigrants from entering the United States in December, however, the Tour told GOLF.com that it would “explore all options regarding the event’s future” after the 2016 tournament in March and issued a statement distancing themselves from the inflammatory rhetoric of his campaign.
“We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.”
“They do not want to do that,” Trump said. “There’s no site like Doral in Florida. I have the greatest site in all of Florida. If they want to do that, it’s fine with me. I’ll make more money.”
Golf Channel is reporting that the 2017 event will be held at Club de Golf Chapultapec near Mexico City and sponsored by Grupo Salinas.
Check out the full interview below.