Former US President Donald Trump has urged golfers to “take the money” offered by the LIV circuit, funded in part by Saudi Arabia, as many players were said to be about to join it.
Trump, who is hosting two LIV events this year on the grounds that he owns it, said players should not be shy about giving up on the PGA Tour, which he deemed “unfair” on the social media he founded, The Truth Social.
“All golfers who remain loyal to the highly disloyal PGA will pay dearly when the inevitable merger with LIV occurs, and you will get nothing but huge thanks from PGA executives who earn millions of dollars annually,” Trump wrote.
“If you don’t want to take the money now, you won’t get anything when the merger happens except to tell you how smart the early signers are,” he added.
The former US president concluded his message by congratulating Cameron Smith on winning the British Open.
The Australian is part of the list of players who would be willing to sign a contract with LIV Golf Course, which has already convinced some of the big names in the sport for huge contracts amounting to several hundred million dollars.
The LIV golf course, spearheaded by former Australian glory Greg Norman, is partly funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Several human rights groups criticized the new department, which they say exists only to restore the international image of Saudi Arabia, a phenomenon known as “sports washing.”
Besides Smith, LIV is said to be set to attract Swedish star Henrik Stenson, who could lose the Ryder Cup captain if he joins the Tour.
The Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, is scheduled to host the LIV tournament July 29-31, while another tournament is scheduled to take place at Trump National Course in Doral, Florida, July 27-31. 30.
‘Extreme pain, frustration and anger’
In an open letter to Donald Trump on Sunday, 9/11 Justice, an association for families of 9/11 victims, called on the former US president to sever ties with LIV.
“We do not understand how you can accept money from the Saudi Arabian Tour of Golf to host the tournament on your own land,” the association wrote in its letter.
“It is difficult for us to express the extreme pain, frustration and anger that this event in Bedminster is causing within our community. It is incomprehensible, in our opinion, that a former President of the United States would step aside our President for financial gain.”
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