Donald Trump attempts to ramp up the excitement for LIV Golf as he turns up for first day
‘They have unlimited money – they love it!’: Donald Trump tries to ramp up the tension for LIV Golf as he shows up for the first day of play at his own golf course in Washington DC… and says Saudis are ‘fantastic’ been for golf
- Donald Trump’s DC course is hosting the final round of the 2023 season of LIV Golf
- The former president praised Saudi Arabia’s impact on sport over the past year
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Donald Trump was full of praise for Saudi Arabia’s influence on the game of golf when he showed up Friday morning for the first day of play at LIV’s event at his Washington DC golf course.
The former president first hosted a tournament for the Saudi-backed breakaway tour in Bedminster last year, and now has three jobs at their circuit, with DC and Miami also signing up.
Trump showed up Thursday for a practice round with Patrick Reed, Graeme McDowell, his son Eric and Bob Koepka – the son of PGA Championship winner Brooks – and was back a few hours later to watch the pros in action.
While LIV hopes his mere presence can boost the excitement for the tournament at Trump National this weekend, the 76-year-old also wanted to speak highly of the competition — and the Saudi Arabian money pouring into the sport.
“I think the (PGA) Tour made a big mistake playing games,” Trump told reporters. “They have unlimited money, and they love it. And it’s been great publicity for Saudi Arabia.
Donald Trump was photographed on the spot at the LIV Golf event in Washington DC on Friday morning
On Thursday, Trump spoke to reporters while playing in the Pro-Am ahead of the tournament
Trump chips on 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 be a big part of it, in their country, they’re going to do great courses.’
LIV Golf is funded by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, and their massive finances have shaken the sport, luring many of its top players away from the PGA Tour to sign lucrative new contracts.
Critics of LIV have accused it of enabling sports laundering as Saudi Arabia tries to divert attention from its appalling history of human rights violations.
Trump was asked if he will receive compensation for allowing LIV Golf to use its courses for their tournaments, 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
The game begins Friday afternoon and is one of three LIV Golf events on a Trump course
Trump watches as his second shot hits the green during his Pro-Am round
He added: ‘It’s peanuts to me. These are 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, on the outskirts of DC, is “the best course.”
“It’s not even a competition,” he said of the Potomac Falls location in Virginia. “I think it’s one of the best properties in the world. You have the Potomac River.
‘Not just any river. You have the Potomac River. There is no other golf course on the Potomac. And certainly no other golf course like this one.’