Trump brags about his golf skills and jabs Biden at Saudi-backed golf tournament

The former president’s Doral golf club is hosting the controversial tour this weekend

Abe Asher
Friday 28 October 2022 01:36 BST
Trump claims 'nobody's got to the bottom of 9/11' as he hosts Saudi LIV Golf event

Former President Donald Trump participated in the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Pro-Am at his Doral course in Miami on Thursday, taking a shot at President Joe Biden in the process.

“Do you think Biden could do that? I don't think so,” Mr Trump joked with the crowd after hitting a shot.

Mr Trump teed it up alongside a number of professionals in the LIV event, and was recorded claiming that he shot just one-over-par on the first nine holes — a remarkable sporting achievement, if true, given the former president’s age and amateur status.

But Mr Trump reportedly has a long history of being dishonest about his golf game and shirking the rules of decorum that typically govern the game.

More newsworthy, perhaps, is Mr Trump’s association with LIV Golf — the Saudi tour that has threatened the status of the PGA and has been roundly criticised throughout the sporting world as a sportswashing venture designed to win the regime positive attention and distract from its record of human rights abuses.

The relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia has been tense in recent years, particularly in the aftermath of the brutal killing of Washington Post-published journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. US intelligence has concluded that the murder was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A number of elected officials in the US have called for the Saudi regime to face consequences for the killing of Mr Khashoggi, but Mr Trump — who notably visited Saudi Arabia early in his presidency — has not shied away from associating himself or his business empire with the Kingdom.

LIV Golf is this weekend hosting the second event of its first season at a Trump-owned course after it played Mr Trump’s Bedminster course in July. Mr Trump also played in the Pro Am event ahead of the Bedminster tournament.

The tournament this weekend in Miami is the final event of LIV Golf’s first season, which saw it play a number of tournaments in the US and use the seemingly unlimited financial resources at its disposal to poach from the PGA notable members from Phil Mickelson to Dustin Johnson to Brooks Koepka all in action.

But despite its vast resources, the tournament has faced opposition in the US. It has not struck a deal with any television network and has been forced to produce its own broadcasts and stream them online, and attendance at its events has been spotty.

Mr Trump’s embrace of LIV Golf could signal something about how he would approach the US-Saudi relationship should he return to the White House. Mr Biden, for his part, has in turn threatened and embraced the Kingdom during his first term.

“Very good,” Mr Trump said when asked about how the tour was doing in a clip filmed by a WPBF 25 News reporter. “It’s doing great... Unlimited money.”

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