DUBLIN, Ohio – The PGA Tour's decision to move the World Golf Championship from Doral to Mexico City did not go over well with Donald Trump, but several players were supportive of the decision.
"I think one of the criticisms of the World Golf Championships is they weren't global enough," Rory McIlroy said Wednesday at the Memorial Tournament. "We have one in China, but apart from that, we had one in Valderrama, one in England, one in Ireland, but apart from that, we haven't really been spreading them around the globe as first planned."
The WGC in Mexico City will be called the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. The tournament will be held at the Club de Golf Chapultapec.
The move comes after Cadillac decided not to renew its sponsorship at Doral. The WGC had been held at Doral since 2007, and Cadillac had been the sponsor since 2011. The PGA Tour has held an event at the famed Miami resort for 55 years.
Trump bought the resort in 2012 and reportedly spent $250 million to renovate the courses and resort. Gil Hanse was brought in to redesign the famed Blue Monster. However, it was still not enough to win over the players.
"It wasn't one that everybody loved – it wasn't everyone's favorite golf course, but it was always in pristine condition, and some great champions came out of it," Jordan Spieth said. "So hopefully that continues."
Trump, the Republican nominee for president, issued a statement on the move.
"The PGA Tour has put profit ahead of thousands of American jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for local communities and charities and the enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of fans who make the tournament an annual tradition. This decision only further embodies the very reason I am running for President of the United States."
On the Fox News show "Hannity" Tuesday night, Trump made the long-rumored news public that the Tour was taking the event to Mexico City.
"I just heard that the PGA Tour is taking their tournament out of Miami and moving it to Mexico, as an example," Trump said. "They're moving it to Mexico City which, by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance. But they're moving it to Mexico City."
Despite Trump's comments, players were not worried about security.
"They're assuring us that everything will be safe, secure, and also a great event and experience and one that is signed up for numerous years," Spieth said. "So any time a sponsor comes on to the PGA Tour and signs a deal for multiple years, we owe a lot of thanks to that sponsor."
The PGA Tour already has an event in Mexico at Mayakoba. Lorena Ochoa hosts an LPGA event in Mexico City, and there is also a Web.com event in Guanajuato and three PGA Tour Latinoamerica events.
The Tour continues to do a great job of replacing sponsors and moving the ball forward," Davis Love III said. "We've had great success in Mexico over the last ten years."
Added Phil Mickelson, "It also offers an opportunity to take a World Golf Championship event outside the United States to another part of the world and bring world class golf to Mexico City. So I think there could be some positives."
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said the Tour is still open to returning to Doral.
"We remain interested in returning when the time is right," Finchem said.