Three U.S. senators signed a letter Tuesday addressed to the USGA requesting that the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open be moved from Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., according to a USA Today report.
The course, owned by businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, was named tournament host in May 2012. Trump drew the ire of several of golf’s governing bodies over comments made about immigrants last summer, and more recently an audio tape was leaked that included Trump making vulgar statements about women.
The trio of senators – Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Dick Blumenthal (D-Conn.) – collectively asked USGA executive director and CEO Mike Davis to move next year’s event, slated for July 13-16.
“The decision that the USGA makes is more consequential than simply the geographic location of a golf tournament,” the letter read. “In declining future association with a brand that degrades women, the USGA and LPGA have an opportunity to make clear to the world, and most especially young Americans, that our nation will not tolerate nor do business with any company that condones or excuses action that constitutes sexual assault.”
This is not the first time a movement has emerged to shift a women’s major from a Trump venue. Last year LPGA commissioner Michael Whan indicated his desire to move the Women’s British Open from Trump Turnberry following Trump’s comments about Mexicans and illegal immigration, but ultimately determined that it was too late to make such a change with the event only weeks away.
Trump took Whan to task in a subsequent letter, questioning Whan’s “common decency” following his “nasty statement.” Despite the retort, Whan recently declined to join the voices of those requesting a venue change for next year’s event.
“(The players) don’t want politics to impact, it’s not like the men’s tour where it’s just another week and they’ll play another one for $12 million,” Whan told Golfweek last week. “The last thing they’d want is their commissioner to have a real statement in politics that affects opportunities out there. But … USGA has been too good to me and the LPGA to not stand behind them. … We got you.”
The USGA did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Golf Channel.