Trump Golf Course in New York City is hosting a Saudi-backed event

A city official confirmed Thursday that a New York City-owned golf course operated by the family businesses of former President Donald J. Trump is expected to host a Saudi-backed tournament in October.

The women’s golf tournament, part of Team Aramco’s series, was approved to be held at Trump Golf Links in Ferry Point in the Bronx by management Eric Adams, according to a city official who was familiar with the matter but not publicly authorized to do so. discuss it.

Like the LIV Golf Series that upended the highest levels of men’s golf by poaching some of the top players from the PGA Tour, the Aramco Team Series has close ties to the Saudi government’s network of institutions. Both are separate operations.

City officials have decided they cannot legally prevent the event under the city’s contract with the Trump Organization, according to Fabian Levy, a spokesman for Mr Adams.

The Trump Organization’s administration of the course has been the subject of a heated battle with the city last year. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio moved to terminate the company’s contract after riots on January 6, 2021 at the Washington Capitol.

But in April 2022, a Judge rules that the Trump Organization can continue to run a city-owned golf course And found that New York City terminated the contract in error. Mr. de Blasio argued that Mr. Trump incited violence in Washington, which he described as criminal activity that gave the city the right to cut ties.

Mr Adams, a moderate Democrat who took office in January, has been friendly with business leaders, eager to boost tourism and the city’s recovery from the pandemic. His chief of staff, Frank Caron, has held at least two meetings this year to discuss the potential tournament, according to a copy of Mr Caron’s daily schedules released by the city on Friday under a Freedom of Information request.

Mr. Caron had meetings listed on April 25 and May 4 to discuss the “Trump issue”, in connection with the Trump Organization’s request to approve the Aramco event, according to the schedules.

By then, Saudi Arabia’s growing interest in golf had caused tremors around the sport.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, officially known as the Public Investment Fund and overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has funded LIV Golf, which in turn has committed billions of dollars to elite male golfers and sparked a wave of defections from the PGA Tour. Leaf golf Held a tournament at the Trump Organization golf course in Bedminster last month, which garnered international attention and sparked outrage.

Critics accused golfers of promoting a country that is trying to distract public attention from its poor human rights record. A group of family members of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks protested near Bidminster Stadium, raising new, long-standing concerns about Saudi support for terrorists.

The Aramco Team series is slightly older than LIV, having debuted as a road show last year. The sovereign wealth fund is the “current partner”, and its main sponsor, Aramco, is the state-owned Saudi oil giant.

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

But in women’s golf, a sport that struggles for global attention and significant revenue, Saudi money is often welcomed.

“Aramco has stepped in and they are giving us a chance to compete,” Bronte Low, an English golfer, said at an event near London in June. “I think this should not be heard.”

The focus was on New York’s plans for the team series, as LIV Golf, which had the support of Mr. Trump but had many skeptics in Washington, formalized its efforts to sway public opinion in the United States.

A government relations firm filed a disclosure form Thursday saying that LIV hired Benjamin Coyle, a former Republican congressman and son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, to lobby about “education and issues related to professional golf in the United States and abroad,” and about “protecting the rights of professional golfers.” In play whenever and wherever they choose.” Politico I first reported the deposit.

The The Trump Organization’s Recent Legal Problems It could give the city new reason to scrutinize its relationship with the company. Recently, Allen H. Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, pleaded guilty to criminal charges and admitted participating in a long-running tax evasion scheme. The Trump Organization will go to trial in October, and Mr Weisselberg is expected to be a key witness.

The women’s team series, which entered New York State last year when it held an event at the Glen Oaks Club in Nassau County, attracted less disdain and less attention from LIV.

Her ranks feature some of the most talented players in women’s golf, including Jessica Korda, runner-up at this year’s Chevron Championships, and her sister, Nelly Korda, who won the 2021 Women’s PGA Championship and scored a pair in the top 10. in the major tournaments this year. (At the Aramco event in Spain last week, Nelly Korda won the individual competition while Jessica Korda led a group to win the team title.)

The team’s series was not immediately suspended Thursday. The Women’s European Tour, which penalizes the series, did not respond to a message.

The Aramco Team Chain Website It lists an event in New York City scheduled for October 13-15, but only says that more information about the venue is “soon.”

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