‘They have unlimited money – they love it!’: Donald Trump attempts to ramp up the excitement for LIV Golf as he turns up for first day of play at his own course in Washington DC… and says Saudis have been ‘fantastic’ for golf
- Donald Trump’s DC course is hosting the latest round of LIV Golf’s 2023 season
- The former President hailed Saudi Arabia’s impact on the sport in the last year
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Donald Trump heaped praise on Saudi Arabia’s impact on the game of golf as he turned up for the first day of play at LIV’s event at his Washington DC course on Friday morning.
The former President first hosted a tournament for the Saudi-backed breakaway tour at Bedminster last year, and now has three courses on their circuit with DC and Miami also signed up.
Trump turned up for a practice round with Patrick Reed, Graeme McDowell, his son Eric and Bob Koepka – the son of PGA Championship winner Brooks – on Thursday, and was back a few hours later to watch the professionals in action.
While LIV will hope his mere presence can increase excitement for the tournament at Trump National this weekend, the 76-year-old was also keen to speak very highly of the competition – and the Saudi Arabian money flooding into the sport.
‘I think the (PGA) Tour made a major mistake by playing games,’ Trump told reporters. ‘They have unlimited money, and they love it. And it’s been great publicity for Saudi Arabia.
Donald Trump is pictured on site at LIV Golf’s Washington DC event on Friday morning
On Thursday, Trump spoke to reporters while playing in the Pro-Am ahead of the tournament
Trump chips onto the 11th green at his own Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia
‘They’ve been great for golf. The Saudis have been fantastic for golf. And they’re going to make it a big part of, inside their country, they’re going to do some great courses.’
LIV Golf is financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and their huge finances have shaken up the sport, enticing many of its top players away from the PGA Tour to sign lucrative new contracts.
LIV’s critics have accused it of enabling sportswashing, as Saudi Arabia look to take attention away from its terrible history of human rights abuses.
Trump was asked whether he receives a fee for allowing LIV Golf to use his courses for their tournaments, to which he confirmed, but would not specify an amount.
He played alongside Patrick Reed (left), one of the pros who defected to LIV from the PGA Tour
Play gets underway on Friday afternoon, and is one of three LIV Golf events at a Trump course
Trump watches on as his second shot heads towards the green during his Pro-Am round
He then added: ‘It’s peanuts for me. This is peanuts. They use (Trump courses) because they’re the best courses. It’s pretty simple.’
He also attempted to convince reporters that his Trump National Course, on the outskirts of DC, is ‘the best course’.
‘It’s not even a contest,’ he said of the Potomac Falls venue in Virginia. ‘I think it’s one of the best properties anywhere in the world. You have the Potomac River.
‘Not just any river. You have the Potomac River. There’s no other golf course that can be on the Potomac. And certainly no other golf course like this.’