Martin defends title at Turnberry

Mo Martin of Pasadena will begin her title defense in the 39th Ricoh Women’s British Open on Thursday on the famed Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry Resort, despite a war of words between Donald Trump and LPGA Tour Commissioner Michael Whan.

After Whan became the latest golf official to criticize Trump for his comments about Mexican immigrants, The Donald responded in an open letter to Whan.

“You never called to tell me this, as common decency would have dictated, but rather just put it out to the media,” Trump wrote in the letter. “As you have heard, and as Univision and NBC are finding out, I am a ‘plus 5 (handicap)’ at contracts. You have an absolutely binding contract to play the great Turnberry Alisa course, but based on your rude comment to the press, please let this letter serve to represent that, subject to a conversation with me on the details, I would be willing to let you play the Women’s British Open … at another course rather than magnificent Turnberry (which I own). I think you have done an extraordinary disservice to women’s golf, but in no way will that diminish my respect for the women on the LPGA tour or their great golfing talent. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss my releasing the LPGA from its obligations under the contract. Obviously, you will have to move quickly.”

An LPGA official told ” … There is no official response.”

However, it appears Trump was talking to the wrong person because the Ricoh Women’s British Open is organized by the Ladies Golf Union, and co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

“Plans are to continue to stage the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry,” Whan said earlier. ” … A change in venue for this prestigious major simply isn’t feasible without significantly diminishing the event.

“By no means, however, does this decision suggest support for Mr. Trump’s comments. The LPGA will continue its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the game of golf as it has done for the last 65 years.”

After Trump’s comments, the PGA of America pulled the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in October from Trump National to Los Angeles.

Trump, currently leading the polls of Republicans running for president, claimed he had the support of the golf community despite his inflammatory comments about illegal immigration because “they all know I’m right.”

After that, the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, United States Golf Association and PGA of America jointly released a statement distancing themselves from Trump.

“In response to Mr. Trump’s comments about the golf industry ‘knowing he is right’ in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations,” the joint statement to the Golf Channel said. “While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on presidential politics, Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.”

Martin, who played at UCLA after making the team as a freshman walk-on, won  the Ricoh British Open last year with an eagle on the final hole to defeat Shanshan Feng of China and Suzann Pettersen of Norway by one stroke.

Martin hit the pin with her 3-wood approach shot from 240 yards on the 72nd hole and then holed her six-foot eagle putt to make her first PGA Tour title a major.

–Photo by Getty Images

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