Washington Post: Trump In Negotiations With Saudi League
In an interesting twist in the whole upstart Saudi League saga, The Washington Post has an exclusive report that Trump is in negotiations to bring tournaments to his Bedminster and Doral courses.
It makes sense that Trump would want in, given the hundreds of millions the Saudis appear willing to throw at the league. Doral is reportedly losing money, but given that Trump’s accountants recently quit, saying that the past ten year worth of financial statements are untrustworthy, there’s no way to really know.
Still, I wouldn’t be surprised. Between the impact of the pandemic on travel in general and his unpopularity with significant chunks of the moneyed class, it seems likely Doral took a hit.
Then there’s the decision of the PGA to move their 2022 tournament from Bedminster after the January 6th insurrection. Trump got a settlement from that, but I doubt it was anywhere near the value of the PR he could have gotten having that course on tv for four straight days.
So Bedminster also has likely taken some sort of hit.
Which brings me to a reason other than money why Trump might be interested in bringing in the Saudis: Revenge.
In 2016, while Trump was running for President, the PGA TOUR dropped Doral from its schedule and moved the World Golf Championship that it hosted to Mexico. That, while Trump was busy painting Mexico and its citizens as a country of criminals.
Bringing Saudi tournaments to those two jilted Trump properties would, I am sure, serve as no small measure of revenge against the two organizations.
That circles around to Greg Norman, who has had a long-standing feud with the PGA TOUR, going back to his attempt to launch a world golf tour back in the early 1990s.
Two glasses full of revenge may therefore be one element behind the moves.
For my part, I have little interest in the Saudi league, and will not be watching, regardless of who they pay to tee it up and where they choose to play. No one can convince me that the Saudis have any actual interest in golf. What they are doing is trying to buy legitimacy.
Unfortunately, it seems that there may be a bunch of players who will help them to do so.