Grand Slam of Golf won't be held at Trump's L.A. club

By Ryan LavnerJuly 7, 2015, 4:15 pm

The fallout from Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Mexican immigrants continued Tuesday, when the PGA of America announced that the Grand Slam of Golf will not be held at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles this fall.

The PGA said that it is exploring other options for the 36-hole exhibition, scheduled for Oct. 20-21, which is a showcase for the year’s major champions.

The organization said that it met with Trump on Monday and “the parties mutually agreed that it is not in the best interest of all” not to conduct the 2015 event at Trump’s course in L.A.

In a separate statement, Trump said that he did not want the PGA of America to suffer any backlash from his comments. 

“I have great respect for the PGA of America and everything they stand for,” he said. 

Trump also used this news as an opportunity to announce that he plans to rebuild Trump LA “into the course I always wanted it to be.”  

Last week, in a carefully crafted statement, the leading golf organizations said that Trump’s derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants “are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.”

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reported that Trump still has three years remaining on his contract with the PGA Grand Slam, as well as deals with the 2017 Senior PGA at Trump National Washington and 2022 PGA at Trump Bedminster.

The PGA Tour released a statement Tuesday saying that “we understand and support the decision” made by the PGA, and that it is “continuing to monitor the situation” in regards to PGA Tour-sanctioned events on Trump courses, most notably the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral. 

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, a Cadillac spokesman told Rosaforte: “Cadillac does not tolerate discrimination whatsoever and does not share Donald Trump’s views about Mexicans or Mexican Americans. In contrast, we celebrate the diversity that makes up the fabric of our country.” 

When asked specifically about Trump’s event at Doral, the company spokesman said: “We have no comment on that at the moment.”  

The International Federation of PGA Tours, which runs the World Golf Championship events, has one of its annual meetings scheduled for next week in St. Andrews, and it’s likely that Trump’s comments will be on the agenda. 

ESPN announced Monday that it was moving its ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from Trump National LA, joining NBC Universal, Macy’s, Univision and NASCAR among the companies that have severed ties with the businessman-turned-presidential candidate. 

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.