LPGA Commish: ‘Lucky’ Not to Have to Make Decision About Trump Bedminster

October 17, 2016
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When it comes to Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., host of the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan is leaving the politics to the USGA.

The course, owned by Republican presidential candidate and business mogul Donald Trump, is set to host the women’s national championship in July, but a slew of sexual harassment accusations and the release of recordings that captured Trump demeaning women and trivializing sexual assault prompted renewed calls for the USGA to move the event.

“In a strange way I’m lucky that the LPGA has no direct dealings with Donald Trump or Donald Trump properties,” Whan told Reuters at a KEB HanaBank Championship press conference Saturday. “Like any group we have people who are political in favor of different sides. I’m not here to be a politician, I know that what the players want is that I don’t get so political as to limit opportunities for women.”

He continued: “All I’ve said to the USGA is this, ‘You have long since proven you support women’s golf so if you tell us this is the right place to play then we’re right there with you.'”

In a Sports Illustrated anonymous survey conducted in February, 67% of LPGA players did not have a problem playing on Trump-owned courses. As recently as the KEB HanaBank Championship, those sentiments seemed not to have changed much. The LPGA held the 2015 RICOH Women’s British Open at Trump Turnberry in South Ayrshire, Scotland, but not before Trump threatened to pull out of the event after the LPGA, PGA of America, USGA and PGA Tour issued a joint statement addressing his incendiary remarks about Mexian immigrants.

During the summer of 2015, golf’s governing bodies labeled those remarks “inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.” No such statement has been made by any of the organizations as it pertains to women.

When reached by GOLF.com for comment on whether the USGA was going to reevaluate its business relationships with the Republican presidential nominee, the USGA said they did not have any further comment to add to statements they had already made on the matter.