Donald Trump is the living embodiment of the Stephen Colbert concept of “truthiness” — feeling the truth instead of doing research, shooting first and asking no questions later.
Trump delivered another example of firing from the hip on Monday, sending a letter to LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in response to comments made about Trump and the plausibility of moving the Ricoh Women’s British Open from Trump-owned Turnberry, which will host the fourth major on the LPGA calendar at the end of July.
The letter,first published by GeoffShackelford.com, reads in full:
As you know, I have been a tremendous supporter of women’s golf. When others wanted nothing to do with it, and many thought that the LPGA tour was a thing of the past and had absolutely no future, I stuck with the tour and with the ladies, many of whom I have gotten to know and respct — not only for their great talent but for being wonderful people. I defended the LPGA Tour for years. In many cases, because all of my seventeen clubs are very successful (with most of them being high end private), I had enormous pushback from my members. I would, and do, allow LPGA players to use and practice at my facilities, free of charge, with members not being thrilled. The good news is that last week, prior to the immense support I am now getting for being right on the issue of illegal immigration, many of the women came to my defense. Natalie Gulbis, Suzann Pettersen and others were wonderful in stating the good I have done for women’s golf. Their words of support were much appreciated by me.
Unfortunately, their Commissioner — you — who I do not even know, put out a nasty statement “At the current time, plans are to continue to stage the RICOH Women’s British Open at Turnberry. With just three weeks until the championship, a change in venue for this prestigious major simply isn’t feasible without significantly diminishing the event. By no means, however, does this decision suggest support for Mr. Trump’s comments” (which have proven correct). You never called me to tell me this, as common decency would have dictated, but rather just put it out to the media. As you have heard, as as Univision and NBC are finding out, I am a “plus 5” at contracts. You have an absolutely binding contract to play the great Turnberry Alisa course but, based on your rude comment to the press, please let this letter serve to represent that, subject to a conversation with me on the details, I would be willing to let you play the Women’s British Open, in two weeks, at another course rather than magnificent Turnberry (which I own). I think that you have done an extraordinary disservice to women’s golf, but in no way will that diminish my respect for the women on the LPGA tour or their great golfing talent.
Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss releasing the LPGA from its obligations under the contract. Obviously, you will have to move quickly!
Donald J. Trump
P.S. Apparently, the American public disagrees with you in that I have just done to #1 and #2 in the polls.
Mike Whan told media during the U.S. Women’s Open last week that he would prefer to move the Women’s British Open from the Trump-owned Turnberry. His full statement read, “By no means, however, does this decision suggest support for Mr. Trump’s comments. The LPGA will continue its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the game of golf as it has done for the last 65 years.”
His statement aimed to distance the LPGA from Trump and his xenophobic views of Mexican immigrants, shared first when he announced his 2016 presidential campaign.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
However, Trump misses a big point in addressing this letter to Mike Whan. Whan isn’t solely in charge of the Ricoh Women’s British Open. That responsibility falls to the Ladies Golf Union, which puts on the championship. So Whan isn’t in a position to move the venue anyhow.
Whan, who represents the LPGA and its players, doesn’t have universal support. Natalie Gulbis shared her support for Trump on Golf Channel during the week of the Women’s Open. Lexi Thompson has the Trump logo on her bag.
Trump does have a track record hosting LPGA-sanctioned event. His Palm Beach facility hosted the season-ending ADT Championship for eight years, from 2001-08. However, Trump turned down hosting the LPGA Championship, now the Women’s PGA Championship, at his New Jersey facility after the event left Bulle Rock in Maryland in 2009.
Going forward, Whan will potentially have to deal with Trump again at a major site. His Trump National Bedminster will host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open.
“Players like him, so I think (having him as the host) can add something to this,” said USGA executive director Mike Davis in announcing that selection in 2012.
Before we go, let’s clarify two points:
1. Trump’s rise in the polls isn’t among all Americans, but rather among likely Republican primary voters.
2. Not all 17 of his owned or managed facilities are doing well. Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico, which licenses Trump’s name and his organizations manages, filed for bankruptcy this week.