The king of the links has denounced the PGA’s decision to yank one of its premier golf tournaments from a course owned by former President Donald Trump.
The PGA Championship starts on Thursday. Up until the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, it was slated to be held at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Yet in the immediate wake of the riot, the PGA relocated the event to Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa.
Appearing on the Fire Pit Collective podcast recently, 82-year-old legend Jack Nicklaus, golf’s winningest player in terms of most major tournament titles, ripped the PGA and CEO Seth Waugh for dumping Trump.
“I like Seth Waugh,” Nicklaus said on the podcast. “Seth didn’t need this job. He took the job because he thought he could give the PGA of America some good guidance. And I think he’s doing that.”
“But this move is cancel culture,” NIcklaus continued. “Donald Trump may be a lot of things, but he loves golf and he loves this country. He’s a student of the game and a formidable figure in the game. What he does in the future in golf will depend on what the cancel culture will allow him to do.”
The PGA Championship was to be the first PGA Tour major event held at one of Trump’s two dozen courses in the U.S.
Nicklaus endorsed Trump in the 2020 election. He urged voters to go with Trump because he fulfilled many of his promises and “worked for the average person.” “His live for America and its citizens, and putting his country first, has come through loud and clear,” Nicklaus added.
At the time the PGA moved the tournament, Watch said that the riot meant “the only real course of action was to leave.”
This week, he reiterated that position to the New York Post this week.
“On Jan. 5, we were going to Bedminster,” Waugh told the Post. “Then, obviously, a lot changed.”
“Everybody wants to make this a political move, but we got put into a political place that was not of our own making,” Waugh added.
“My feeling was we could do existential damage to our brand by staying at Bedminster. If we stayed, the 2022 PGA would be about its ownership. People would think we were making a statement by staying there. I felt like we could do permanent damage to the brand if we stayed. As did the board.”
Yet, Waugh seems to have missed that he made just as much of a statement by leaving.