Sources within the Trump organization and the PGA Tour have told Golf Channel that the former WGC-Cadillac Championship will move from Trump National Doral to Mexico, beginning next year.
The event will be contested at Club de Golf Chapultapec outside Mexico City and will be sponsored by the Grupo Salinas conglomerate.
Donald Trump released this statement Wednesday afternoon:
“It is a sad day for Miami, the United States and the game of golf, to have the PGA Tour consider moving the World Golf Championships, which has been hosted in Miami for the last 55 years, to Mexico. 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. This decision only further embodies the very reason I am running for President of the United States.”
In addition to being the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump is also the owner of Trump National Doral in South Florida. Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” program Tuesday, Trump indicated that the Tour intends to move WGC-Cadillac Championship from his resort to an undetermined venue in Mexico City.
“I just heard that the PGA Tour is taking their tournament out of Miami and moving it to Mexico, as an example,” Trump said. “They’re moving it to Mexico City which, by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance. But they’re moving it to Mexico City.”
Golf Channel sources indicate that Mexico City remains one of the possible locations for the 2017 event. Golf Channel reached out to the Tour for comment on the possible relocation but did not receive an immediate response.
The Tour hinted in December that a venue shift was possible shortly after Trump made inflammatory remarks toward Mexicans and immigrants and called for a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States.
“We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” the statement read. “The PGA Tour has had a 53-year commitment to the Doral community, the greater Miami area and the charities that have benefited from the tournament. Given this commitment, we are moving forward with holding the 2016 event at the Blue Monster. Immediately after the completion of the 2016 tournament, we will explore all options regarding the event’s future.”
Doral has gone through many iterations over the years, but it has remained a staple of the PGA Tour schedule since 1962. Trump acquired Doral in 2012, and he oversaw a $250 million renovation of the resort and famed “Blue Monster” course that began the following year. In 2013, the Tour signed a new, 10-year agreement with the resort to keep the tournament in Miami.
But that contract included an out clause should the Tour be unable to secure a title sponsor for the event. This year marked the end of the sponsorship agreement for Cadillac, which had also briefly sponsored the WGC-Match Play in 2015.
As for Trump, he insisted in March that eliminating the PGA Tour event would actually make good business sense for his property.
“I would make much more money at Doral if I didn’t have a tournament,” he said. “(March) is the prime month in Florida, you can’t get a room and I have the best rooms in Miami. I love the tournament, it’s been here 50 years. With all of that said, I would make much more money.”