LPGA happy to let USGA make Trump course decision

Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:27pm EDT
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By Peter Rutherford

INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - LPGA chief Mike Whan says the Tour will back golf authorities no matter what decision they make about hosting the 2017 US Women's Open at a course owned by presidential nominee Donald Trump amid a storm over sexually aggressive comments he made about women.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) is facing calls to move the event from Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey in nine months' time after a 2005 video surfaced in which he bragged of kissing and groping women without consent.

Whan told Reuters in an interview on Saturday at the LPGA/KLPGA co-sanctioned KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon that he was "lucky" not to have to make that kind of decision.

The U.S. Women's Open, the most prestigious tournament in ladies golf, is conducted by the USGA.

"In a strange way I'm lucky that the LPGA has no direct dealings with Donald Trump or Donald Trump properties," he said.

"Like any group we have people who are political in favor of different sides. I'm not here to be a politician, I know that what the players want is that I don't get so political as to limit opportunities for women.

"All I've said to the USGA is this, 'You have long since proven you support women's golf so if you tell us this is the right place to play then we're right there with you.'"

Whan took over in 2010 when the LPGA Tour was buckling from the fallout of the U.S. recession and his push for global growth has been a key factor in the circuit's resurgence.   Continued...

Real estate developer Donald Trump attends a news conference with the PGA in New York May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid