Trump Golf Course in New York to host a Saudi-backed event

Trump Golf Course in New York to host a Saudi-backed event

A golf course in New York operated by the family business of former President Donald J.

The women’s golf tournament, part of the Aramco Group Series, has been approved by manager Eric Adams for residency at Trump Golf Links in Ferry Point in the Bronx, according to a city official familiar with the matter but not publicly authorized. is not to do it. . Discuss it.

Like the LIV Golf Series that raised the bar for men’s golf by poaching some of the top players from the PGA Tour, the Aramco Group Series has close ties to the Saudi Arabian Government Organizations Network. However, the two are separate operations.

City officials decided they could not “unreasonably withhold approval” from the event under the city’s contract with the Trump Organization, according to another city official familiar with the matter.

The Trump Organization’s administration of the course was the subject of a bitter battle with the city last year. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio moved to terminate the company’s contract following riots on January 6, 2021 at the Washington Capitol.

But in April 2022, a judge ruled that the Trump Organization could continue to operate the city-owned golf course, finding New York had wrongfully voided the contract. Mr. de Blasio argued that Mr. Trump has incited violence in Washington, which he says is criminal activity that gives the city the right to cut ties.

Mr. Adams, a moderate Democrat who took office in January, has been friendly with business leaders and has been eager to boost tourism and the city’s recovery from the pandemic. His chief of staff, Frank Caron, has held at least two meetings this year to discuss the potential championship, according to a copy of Caron’s daily schedules released by the city Friday in a Freedom of Information request.

Mr Caron recorded meetings on April 25 and May 4 to discuss the “Trump dossier” on the Trump Organization’s request to approve the Aramco deal, according to the schedules.

Until then, Saudi Arabia’s growing interest in golf caused upheavals around the sport.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund, officially known as the Public Investment Fund and overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has pumped money into LIV Golf, which has in turn committed billions of dollars to elite male golfers and sparked a wave of defections from the PGA has. Tour. Leaf Golf held a tournament at the Trump Organization’s golf course in Bedminster last month, sparking international interest and outrage.

Critics have accused golfers of selling out their country in an attempt to distract the public from its poor human rights record. A group of family members of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks demonstrated near the Bedminster Trail, raising long-standing concerns about Saudi support for terrorists.

The Aramco team series is slightly older than LIV, having debuted as a roadshow last year. The Sovereign Wealth Fund is the “current partner”, and its main sponsor, Aramco, is Saudi Arabia’s oil giant.

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

But in women’s golf, a sport vying for global attention and big revenues, Saudi money is often welcome.

“Aramco has come and they are giving us a chance to compete,” Bronte Low, the English golfer, said in June at an event near London. “I think it shouldn’t go away.”

New York’s plans for the group’s series were in focus as LIV Golf, which has the backing of Mr. Trump has, but many skeptics in Washington have, stepped up his efforts to sway opinion in the United States.

A government relations firm filed a disclosure form Thursday saying LIV has hired Benjamin Quayle, a former Republican congressman and son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, to engage in “education and issues related to professional golf in the United States States are related”. and further “and protect the rights of professional golfers to play whenever and wherever they choose.” Politico was first reported on submission.

The Trump Organization’s latest legal woes could give the city new reason to scrutinize its relationship with the company. Alan H. Weiselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, recently pleaded guilty to criminal charges and admitted to participating in a long-running tax evasion scheme. The Trump Organization’s trial is scheduled for October, and Mr. Weiselberg is expected to be a key witness.

The women’s team series, which came to New York state last year when it held an event at the Glen Oaks Club in Nassau County, has garnered no less awareness and attention than LIV.

Its ranks include some of the most talented players in women’s golf, including Jessica Korda, this year’s Chevron runner-up, and her sister, Nelly Korda, who won the 2021 PGA Women’s Championship and had a pair of Top 10 finishes. this year in the big tournaments. (At last week’s Aramco event in Spain, Nelly Korda won the individual competition while Jessica Korda led a team to the team title.)

The team lineup did not immediately respond Thursday. The Women’s European Tour, which sanctioned the series, did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr Adams’ spokesman, Fabian Levy, declined to comment.

The Aramco Team Chain website lists an event in New York City scheduled for October 13-15, but says only that more information about the venue is “coming soon.”

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