If not for “cancel culture,” the PGA Tournament would have been held at former President Donald Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J.
That’s the diagnosis of one of the game’s legends, Jack Nicklaus, winner of a record 18 majors.
Nicklaus is among those who do not believe the tournament should have been moved to Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., the New York Post reported.
“I like Seth Waugh,” Nicklaus told Fire Pit Collective regarding the CEO of the PGA Tour.
“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,” Nicklaus went on.
“But this move is cancel culture. 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 golf legend added.
The Post notes:
Waugh, who became CEO of PGA of America in 2018, was also interviewed for the story and explained the organization had been comfortable with being associated with the polarizing Trump for the major — until the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
“On Jan. 5, we were going to Bedminster,” Waugh said. “Then, obviously, a lot changed.”
Waugh, who has known the former president for three decades, also knows that there are PGA players and fans who also support Trump. But he said keeping the major at Trump’s course was an “existential” risk.
“Everybody wants to make this a political move, but we got put into a political place that was not of our own making,” Waugh said, according to The Post.
“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.”
The Post added: “In late December, the Trump Organization and PGA of America reached an undisclosed settlement over the decision to pull the tournament, with both sides giving positive statements about the other.”