‘They have unlimited money – they love it!’: Donald Trump tries to drum up excitement for LIV Golf as he enters the first day of play at his own course in Washington DC… and says the Saudis is ‘amazing’ for golf
- Donald Trump’s DC course hosts the latest round of LIV Golf’s 2023 season
- The former President praised Saudi Arabia’s impact on sport last year
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Donald Trump praised Saudi Arabia’s impact on the game of golf when he arrived for the first day of play at the LIV event at his Washington DC course on Friday morning.
The former President first hosted a tournament for the Saudi-backed breakaway tour in Bedminster last year, and now has three courses on their circuit with DC and Miami also signed up.
Trump arrived 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 returned a few hours later to watch the professionals acting
While LIV hopes his presence alone can increase excitement for the tournament at Trump National this weekend, the 76-year-old is also keen to speak highly of the competition – and the Saudi Arabian currency is flooding the sport.
“I think the (PGA) Tour made a big mistake by playing,” Trump told reporters. ‘They have unlimited money, and they love it. And this has 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 before the tournament
Trump chips onto the 11th green at his own Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia
‘They are good at golf. The Saudis are great for golf. And they’re going to make it a big part of, within their country, they’re going to do some great courses.’
LIV Golf is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and their largesse has shaken up the sport, encouraging many of its top players away from the PGA Tour to sign lucrative new contracts.
Critics of LIV have accused it of enabling sportswashing, as Saudi Arabia looks to divert attention from its horrific history of human rights abuses.
Trump was asked if he receives a fee for allowing LIV Golf to use his courses for their tournaments, to which he confirmed, but did not specify an amount.
He played with Patrick Reed (left), one of the pros who defected to LIV from the PGA Tour
Play begins Friday afternoon, and is one of three LIV Golf events on a Trump course
Trump watches as his second shot heads for the green during his Pro-Am round
He then added: ‘It’s nuts for me. It’s peanuts. They use (Trump courses) because they are the best courses. It’s quite simple.’
He also tried to convince reporters that his Trump National Course, outside DC, was ‘the best course’.
‘It’s not even a contest,’ he said of the Potomac Falls area in Virginia. ‘I think it’s one of the best properties anywhere in the world. You have the Potomac River.
‘It’s not just any river. You have the Potomac River. No other golf course can be on the Potomac. And there is certainly no other golf course like it.’