While the 2022 PGA Championship didn’t happen inside the state of New Jersey, fans do have the opportunity to watch professional golfers at Trump National this weekend. The controversial LIV Golf league is playing its latest event at the former president’s course located in Bedminster.
After receiving the bid for this year’s PGA Championship back in 2014, the PGA of America chose to move the tournament. Its board of directors decided to cut ties with the course in order to limit any negative backlash.
They announced the move in Jan. 2021, following the events of Jan. 6 at the US Capitol.
Instead, Trump National Golf Club Bedminster hosts the third LIV tournament of the season, starting on Friday, July 29, and continuing through the weekend.
Unfortunately, NJ sportsbooks don’t offer odds on the event. The Garden State’s Division of Gaming Enforcement has yet to permit betting on LIV tournaments.
Trump National removed from PGA Championship
The recent PGA Championship that completed in May was supposed to be the first men’s major tournament played at any of Trump’s golf courses. It moved to the Southern Hills Country Club, which is in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The PGA of America felt that keeping its championship event at Trump National would come with harmful consequences. According to ESPN, the PGA of America president, Jim Richerson, talked about terminating the agreement with the NJ course. Richerson said:
“It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver on many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission.”
Unlike the newly formed LIV league, the PGA tends to hold a high standard when it comes to business dealings and those within the sport. It doesn’t want controversy or a black cloud hanging over an event.
Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America, discussed the matter further. He said:
“We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making. We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”
Naturally, The Trump Organization didn’t agree with the decision. A spokesperson for the company expressed their disappointment. They told ABC News the following:
“This is a breach of a binding contract, and they have no right to terminate the agreement. As an organization, we have invested many, many millions of dollars in the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. We will continue to promote the game of golf on every level and remain focused on operating the finest golf courses anywhere in the world.”
Although the course didn’t host one of the four PGA majors, it does feature this week’s LIV tournament.
LIV Golf comes to New Jersey
The third LIV tournament ever begins in Bedminster on Friday, as this golf league completes its tournaments in just three days. The LIV Golf Invitational – New Jersey includes many exciting players, but also comes with plenty of controversy.
For those unaware, the problem surrounding the LIV Golf league is the fact that it’s funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. This part of the Saudi government is known for a variety of human-rights violations.
With seemingly endless funds, though, LIV has been able to poach a decent amount of notable PGA players away. Despite some of these guys entering the post-prime segment of their career, several are younger, promising golfers.
Some of the biggest names initially announced showcased the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Patrick Reed. Since then, lots of others took the money and changed tours, as well.
Besides those mentioned, NJ golf fans this week get to enjoy some quality shots from the following:
- Brooks Koepka
- Abraham Ancer
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Taylor Gooch
- Sergio Garcia
- Kevin Na
- Henrik Stenson
- Matthew Wolff
LIV Golf isn’t done expanding its product yet, either. It’s constantly looking to add more noteworthy PGA players, including the winner of the latest major championship.
There’s a lot of speculation that Cameron Smith may also jump ship, even though he just earned the Claret Jug following his victory at The Open Championship.
The league is certainly gaining more traction than many expected, and could actually pose a real threat to the PGA going forward. If it finalizes a TV deal of some sort, LIV could take the next step.
NJ sports bettors still need to wait to put any action down on LIV Golf for the time being. While online sportsbooks like DraftKings and Caesars both offer odds through their platform, there are only a few states that approved betting on LIV events. Currently, Connecticut is the closest of those to the Garden State.