AUGUSTA, Ga. – The PGA Tour and PGA of America issued statements on Saturday in response to Georgia’s controversial new voting laws, and the Tour said it will not move its end-of-season event to be played in the state in August.
The Masters Tournament, which begins this week at Augusta National Golf Club, is expected to address the matter on Wednesday when President Fred Ridley holds his annual pre-tournament press conference.
The PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff event, the Tour Championship, is played annually at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The PGA of America hosts the KPMG PGA Women’s Championship, scheduled for June at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Citing its financial commitment to the local community and various charities, the PGA Tour said it would not move the Tour Championship.
“The Tour Championship’s commitment to East Lake has helped our partners transform struggling neighborhoods into healthy and thriving neighborhoods, which is key to ending the cycle of intergenerational poverty,” the PGA Tour said in its statement. “The charitable and financial benefits that have led to these substantial changes would not continue if we simply turned away from those in need.”
However, the PGA Tour added that “our intention to host an event in a particular market should not be construed as disregarding the current conversation about voting rights.”
“The PGA Tour fully supports efforts to protect the right of all Americans to vote and remove any barriers that may prevent citizens’ voices from being heard and counted,” the statement said. “It is the foundation of our great country and a critical national priority to listen to concerns about voter suppression, especially from communities of color that have been marginalized in the past, and to work together to make voting easier for all citizens.”
The PGA of America, in its statement Saturday, said: “The KPMG PGA Women’s Championship is a partnership between three organizations committed to diversity, equity and inclusion: PGA of America, LPGA and KPMG. Like many entities, we are monitoring developments related to the new state legislation on voting access. We believe that elections should be accessible, fair and safe, and support broad voter participation. “
Major League Baseball said Friday it would move this summer’s All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to changes in state voting.
The PGA Tour also hosts an event on Sea Island, Georgia, at the end of the year.