Trump National in Sterling to host 2017 Senior PGA Championship

Golf-loving real estate mogul Donald Trump announced Thursday a partnership with the PGA of America that will bring the Senior PGA Championship to the Washington suburbs and leaves open the door for major tournaments at Trump’s other golf properties.

During a news conference in New York, officials from the PGA of America awarded the 2017 Senior PGA Championship to Trump National-Washington, D.C., which sits on the Virginia side of the Potomac River in Sterling. Trump’s facility in Bedminster, N.J. — also called Trump National — will host the 2022 PGA Championship, giving Trump a men’s major for the first time.

“We know this is just the start of what is going to be a great and enduring relationship between our organization and Mr. Trump,” Pete Bevacqua, the CEO of the PGA of America, said at the news conference. “I think it’s the start of great things to come.”

Trump bought the former Lowes Island Club in 2009 and completely overhauled it, hiring renowned architect Tom Fazio to redo the two courses. He stated his intentions to bring a major event to the 800-acre property last summer, when the rebranded Trump National hosted the Junior PGA Championship. The first step on that path is the Senior PGA, which will be held in May 2017. It will be Washington’s first venture into 50-and-older events since TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm hosted the 2010 Senior Players Championship, which counts as one of five majors on the Champions Tour.

Whether the Washington-area course will ever host a regular men’s major — as Trump said he wanted — remains to be seen.

But the pressure is now off because the Bedminster facility landed the PGA. That course also will host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open. Trump also purchased Turnberry Resort in Scotland, which last hosted the British Open in 2009 and is favored to land that event again soon.

“Certainly, when you have courses, when you get acknowledged to have one of the majors — any one of the majors, but having the PGA is a very, very big deal,” Trump said at the news conference. “So it’s very important to me. It’s a great honor for me and it’s a tremendous honor for both of these clubs.”

The PGA of America has sites for the PGA Championship, its marquee event, through 2019 and in 2022. The Senior PGA will be staged at the Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich., this year and again in 2016 and 2018. The 2015 tournament will be at the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind.

The Washington area has hosted only one PGA Championship, in 1976 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda — the site of three U.S. Opens.

Barry Svrluga is the national baseball writer for The Washington Post.
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