Donald Trump-hosted PGA Tour event moves away… to Mexico

The PGA Tour has confirmed that the former WGC-Cadillac Championship will move from Trump National Doral to Mexico City from 2017.

The event will be renamed the WGC-Mexico Championship and staged from March 2-5 in a seven-year deal with Grupo Salinas. The venue has yet to be announced.

Golf's most influential organisations have distanced themselves from Doral owner Donald Trump in the wake of his views on Mexican immigrants, which were expressed when the 69-year-old announced his decision to stand for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in June last year.

The Grand Slam of Golf was moved from Trump National in Los Angeles in October, while the PGA Tour began considering alternative venues for the WGC-Cadillac Championship after his call for a ''total and complete'' ban on Muslims entering America following terrorist attacks.

The PGA Tour had a contract to hold the WGC event at Doral until 2023 - but with the provision that a new title sponsor would have the right to take the tournament elsewhere. Cadillac's sponsorship ended this year.

Asked about the move at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of the Memorial Tournament, world number three Rory McIlroy joked: "It's quite ironic we're going to Mexico after being at Doral. We'll just jump over the wall."

That was a reference to the wall Trump said he wants to build between Mexico and the United States in a bid to curb illegal immigration.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement: "Since the debut of the World Golf Championships in 1999, the intent has always been to conduct these tournaments around the world.

"Once it became apparent that we would not be able to secure sponsorship at levels that would sustain the event and help it grow at Trump National Doral, we began having serious discussions with Ricardo and Benjamin Salinas, who expressed strong interest in bringing a tournament to Mexico City to benefit golf and its development throughout Mexico. We are very excited about this new opportunity and what it brings to the World Golf Championships.

"We greatly appreciate everything that Cadillac, Trump National Doral and Donald Trump have done for the tournament.

"Cadillac has been a tremendous sponsor and Donald has been a most gracious host since taking over the property in 2013. In particular, his commitment to renovating the golf course and the overall facility at Doral was especially appreciated by the PGA Tour and its members.

"The PGA Tour has had a wonderful history in greater Miami and at Trump National Doral and we remain interested in returning when the time is right."

Donald Trump-hosted PGA Tour event moves away… to Mexico

Trump issued a statement on Monday which read: "It is a sad day for Miami, the United States and the game of golf to have the PGA Tour consider moving the World Golf Championships, which have been hosted in Miami for the last 55 years, to Mexico.

"No different than Nabisco, Carrier and so many other American companies, the PGA Tour has put profit ahead of thousands of American jobs, millions of dollars in revenues for local communities and charities and the enjoyment of hundreds and thousands of fans who make the tournament an annual tradition."

Doral has hosted a PGA Tour event for the last 55 years, although WGC events only began in 1999.

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