Call it a double bogey for Donald Trump. Not only is the billionaire and presumptive Republican presidential frontrunner facing the loss of a major golf tournament that has been held at one of his resort properties for decades, he’s losing it to Mexico.
In a development that many Mexicans will no doubt view as an epic instance of poetic justice, the PGA Tour is set to move the World Golf Championship from a course owned by Trump to a new venue in Mexico City next year.
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The WGC has, since 1962, been held at the Doral resort in Miami, which Trump bought in 2011, but automaker Cadillac has withdrawn as the tournament’s chief sponsor, and the PGA has reportedly been unable to find another big-name corporation willing to tie its reputation to the GOP’s volatile presumptive presidential nominee.
The PGA Tour had signed a 10-year deal with the Doral to hold the WGC there through 2023, but it was conditional on its ability to find a sponsor to cover the costs of the event.
Trump took the news with characteristic grace, saying late Tuesday in an appearance on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show, “They're moving it to Mexico City which, by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance.”
Trump’s signature campaign promises have been to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to prevent further illegal immigration, and to deport the more than 11 million people in the U.S. who came into the country illegally, overstayed visas or are otherwise not citizens or legal residents.
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While not all of the unauthorized immigrants in the country are Mexican, the country has been singled out by Trump for particular vitriol during his campaign, which he began by claiming that “rapists and murderers” were being sent over the border by the Mexican government.
Trump has also blasted U.S. companies for moving production facilities to Mexico, including automaker Ford Motor Company and heating and air conditioning giant Carrier Corp. In a statement Wednesday, he continued in the same vein.
“No different than Nabisco, Carrier and so many other American companies, the PGA Tour has put profit ahead of thousands of American jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for local communities and charities and the enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of fans who make the tournament an annual tradition,” he said. “This decision only further embodies the very reason I am running for president of the United States.”
Left unsaid in Trump’s statement is that the likely reason the tournament is being moved is the unwillingness of any major corporations to sponsor it — and the possibility that reluctance is rooted in the deeply divisive presidential campaign that he has been running.