LIV Golf’s Ties to Donald Trump Could Get Even Stronger

  • LIV Golf hosted its third match this previous weekend at Trump Nationwide Golf Membership in Bedminster, New Jersey.
  • All through the occasion, it at occasions felt like Trump was the largest star that LIV needed to provide.
  • LIV already is about to host one other occasion on a Trump course in October, and it may schedule extra for subsequent 12 months.

LIV Golf hosted its third match over the weekend at Trump Nationwide Golf Membership in Bedminster, New Jersey.

All through the weekend, the previous president was an energetic participant, from teeing it up within the pro-am on Thursday alongside Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau, to standing on the stage for the trophy presentation after Henrik Stenson gained the match.

Whereas the motion on the golf course was meant to be the draw for followers coming to the tony New York Metropolis suburb, there have been a number of moments on Sunday that made it really feel like — regardless of the massive cash given out to draw a number of the greatest names within the sport — Trump was the largest star LIV needed to provide.

As the previous President watched from the primary tee, chants of “4 extra years!” broke out early within the day. Forward of the trophy presentation, the group chanted “Let’s go, Brandon!” — a political slogan and Web meme meant to deride President Joe Biden — a lot to the delight of Trump, in addition to Fox Information’ Tucker Carlson and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had joined him within the clubhouse above the lots.

It was the primary time that LIV had hosted an occasion at a Trump property, however it’s already assured to not be the final, because the league is about to play its finale to the 2022 season at Trump Nationwide Doral in Miami this October.

In response to longtime golf author Alan Shipnuck, the numbers are a bit murky relating to simply how a lot Trump was paid to host this previous weekend’s occasion. “Trump Bedminster was paid $2.8 million (in keeping with the Trump Group) or $4.5 million (in keeping with membership members),” Shipnuck wrote in his recap of the occasion.

However no matter Trump is being paid, it clearly has already been value it to the folks doing the paying.

Former President Donald Trump greets Henrik Stenson after his win at LIV Bedminster.

Former President Donald Trump greets Henrik Stenson after his win at LIV Bedminster.

AP Picture/Seth Wenig

LIV Golf is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund, one of many world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with an estimated $620 billion in property below administration. The emergence of the league has been assessed by many as a follow in sportswashing, whereby Saudi Arabia is trying to launder its fame on the worldwide stage by way of the general public’s love of sport. If that’s their purpose, Trump has already confirmed a helpful ally.

Earlier than the beginning of LIV Bedminster, Trump was already expounding on the success of the brand new league.

“I feel LIV has been an incredible factor for Saudi Arabia, for the picture of Saudi Arabia,” Trump advised the Wall Road Journal. “I feel it will be an unimaginable funding from that standpoint, and that is extra invaluable than plenty of different issues as a result of you possibly can’t purchase that — even with billions of {dollars}.”

Trump additionally downplayed the killing of Washington Publish journalist Jamal Khashoggi, regardless of a declassified US intelligence report launched final 12 months explicitly implicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi’s killing.

“I can say that from the standpoint of Khashoggi, that has died down a lot,” Trump mentioned. “It actually appears to have completely died down.”

At Bedminster, Trump’s help of LIV solely turned extra clear, as he glad-handed his manner across the course and roused the group, a lot of whom had been themselves sporting Trump shirts or “Make America Nice Once more” hats.

A woman celebrates with her newly signed Trump hat.

A lady celebrates together with her newly signed Trump hat.

Tyler Lauletta / Insider

Like LIV, Trump additionally craves legitimacy, particularly within the realm of sport.

Earlier than LIV happened, Trump Bedminster was scheduled to host the 2022 PGA Championship. However after the rebellion on the Capitol on January 6, the PGA of America, a separate entity from the PGA Tour that runs the PGA Championship, determined it greatest to relocate the match.

Earlier than that, Trump had taken management of Turnberry, an historic course in the UK that had hosted the Open Championship on a number of events. Since Trump took management of the course, the R&A has made it clear that the course wouldn’t be internet hosting the battle for the Claret Jug.

It isn’t arduous to think about that Trump feeling spurned by the PGA Tour was a motivating issue for his public help of LIV.

Additional, along with LIV’s dedication to Trump, Saudi Arabia’s PIF additionally put $2 billion into Jared Kushner’s personal fairness agency. With the PIF already so dedicated to financing one venture near Trump, it is potential that extra may comply with.

LIV’s occasion in Miami is on the horizon, the place the previous president may as soon as once more function the star of the present. Trying ahead, LIV has introduced that it is going to be increasing from eight to 14 occasions in 2023.

“Trump is pushing arduous to host extra occasions, together with one at Turnberry,” Shipnuck wrote. “That might be a giant center finger to a different group of golf tastemakers who’ve rejected him, the tweedy gents on the R&A.”

Whereas nonetheless in its early phases, it appears like Trump and LIV may proceed to be allies transferring ahead.

In Trump, LIV positive factors legitimacy by way of the help of a former president, nationwide interviews with Tucker Carlson, and the potential for a built-in fanbase of people who find themselves excited by backing Trump’s half in one other venture considered as a battle in opposition to the institution.

In LIV, Trump will get thousands and thousands for internet hosting, extra consideration for his golf programs, the adoration of supportive crowds in a comparatively managed atmosphere, and the prospect to play a spherical on his personal programs with a number of the greatest gamers on the earth. 

What extra may both facet need?

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