Trump protesters asked to leave LPGA Tour event
By JOHN NICHOLSON
PHOENIX (AP) About a dozen people protesting the U.S. Women's Open being played at a course President Donald Trump owns left peacefully Saturday after security officials asked them to leave the front entrance of the LPGA Tour's Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
Members of the group UltraViolet protested for less than 30 minutes before they were asked to leave the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. A plane flew over the course later with a banner reading "LPGA: TAKE A MULLIGAN. DUMP SEXIST TRUMP."
The U.S. Golf Association-run U.S. Women's Open is July 13-16 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, a few miles from the USGA's headquarters in Far Hills.
"The LPGA respects the freedom for individuals and organizations to express their own views," the tour said in a statement. "As the world's leading professional golf organization for women, the LPGA is committed to our mission, to create opportunities for the best female golfers in the world to showcase their talent. As a global tour and membership, we try not to let politics get in the way of their opportunities.
"Regarding the U.S. Women's Open, the USGA not the LPGA - owns and operates the event and we are delighted to have so many of our LPGA members qualify to participate each year. When it comes to decisions regarding venue, purse, TV, etc., those are solely made by the USGA. We respect and support the decisions made by the USGA on this matter."
UltraViolet said it has 100,000 signatures on a petition calling for the event to be moved.
"The USGA and LPGA need to send a clear signal to young golfers, including women, people of color, and people with disabilities that it stands against Trump's brand of hate, and for an inclusive strong future by moving the upcoming U.S. Women's Open from Trump National Golf Course," UltraViolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas said in a statement.
Updated March 18, 2017