Sun, 03 Jul 2022

Golf legend blames cancel culture for Trump snub

RT.com
17 May 2022, 23:38 GMT+10

Jack Nicklaus took a shot at PGA CEO Seth Waugh in an interview this week

Golf's most successful player of all time believes 'cancel culture' is behind the reasoning for the PGA tour moving its championship away from a golf course owned by former US President Donald Trump. 

Jack Nicklaus has 18 major championships to his name, which is a record in the sport and three more than nearest rival Tiger Woods. 

As a public Trump supporter who urged his followers to vote the ex-president in for a second four-year term during the 2020 election lost to Joe Biden, the 82-year-old feels that the PGA and its CEO Seth Waugh moved their championship away from the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey in favor of another one in Tulsa, Oklahoma because of the power of 'cancel culture'.

"I like Seth Waugh," Nicklaus told the Fire Pit Collective. "Seth didn't need this job. He took the job because he thought he could give the PGA of America some good guidance.

"But this move is cancel culture," he added of the decision to move the competition, which gets underway on May 19th, to Oklahoma in early 2021.

"Donald Trump may be a lot of things, but he loves golf, and he loves this country. He's a student of the game and a formidable figure in the game. What he does in the future in golf will depend on what the cancel culture will allow him to do," Nicklaus went on.

When announcing the shift on January 18 last year, Waugh did reference the Capitol riots from almost a fortnight before when a mob of around 2,000 Trump supporters attempted to overturn Biden's victory at the poll while citing voter fraud.

"We find ourselves in a political situation, not of our making," Waugh explained. "We're fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission, and for our brand. And how do we best protect that?

"Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave," Waugh finished.

In the same chat with the Fire Pit Collective, Nicklaus also revealed that Greg Norman was not the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series' first choice to front their competition which some view as a breakaway league from the PGA Tour.

"I was offered something in excess of $100 million by the Saudis, to do the job probably similar to the one that Greg is doing," Nicklaus claimed. 

"I turned it down. Once verbally, once in writing. I said: 'Guys, I have to stay with the PGA Tour. I helped start the PGA Tour.'"

As for Phil Mickelson, who is currently in hot water for comments made in an unauthorized biography which saw him dismissing Saudi Arabia's human rights record and saying getting involved with the "scary motherf*cker" Saudis was worthwhile if it meant gaining leverage on the PGA Tour, Nicklaus urged calm.

"My advice to Phil? My advice to Phil would be to be patient," Nicklaus said of the 51-year-old, who will not defend his 2021 PGA Championship crown as a result of the fall out.

"The world is a very forgiving place. But he's the one - he has to decide where he wants to play and what he wants to do," Nicklaus finished.

READ MORE: Golf great who called Saudi regime 'scary motherf*ckers' to miss Masters

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