LIV Golf Tournament at Trump Club Sees Thin Crowds, $1 Tickets: Reports

Thin crowds were reported at the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament taking place at former President Donald Trump's New Jersey club this weekend—with tickets reportedly being sold for as little as $1 online.

LIV Golf, which aims to rival the near century-old PGA Tour, has drawn substantial controversy due to it being financed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. The kingdom has faced strong criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike for its documented human rights abuses, and particularly for the grisly murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

While LIV Golf managed to attract some high-profile professional golfers, the PGA Tour barred its members from participating in the competition. Trump, however, embraced the new tournament after the PGA Tour ended its plan to host its championship at his Bedminster club following the events of January 6, 2021.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump walks the driving range during day two of the LIV Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on Friday in New Jersey. Jared C. Tilton/LIV via Getty Images

The New York Times reported Friday that the crowds at the event were "thin and scant at many holes," although it also noted the "easy camaraderie" among the players. Similarly, The Wall Street Journal reported that many holes "had just a smattering of fans as the day progressed" on Friday. The conservative newspaper additionally reported that tickets for the event were being sold for as little as $1 on StubHub.com.

A search by Newsweek on Saturday afternoon showed tickets for the Sunday event at Trump's Bedminster club being sold for as little as $7 and $8 on the ticketing website. Some event tickets were going for as much as $150 as well.

"The golf itself, meanwhile, wasn't exactly supercharged—light crowds were spread across much of the vast grounds here on the first day of the tournament," the Journal reported.

Golfweek, meanwhile, described the crowd as "lively." Some attendees reportedly chanted "Four more years!" and "Let's go Brandon!" when Trump made his first appearance to tee-off at the event. "Let's go Brandon" has become a popular slogan by right-wing critics of President Joe Biden, as it stands in for "F*** Joe Biden."

Trump shrugged off criticism of the Saudi financing behind the event, saying the funders were his friends

"I've known these people for a long time in Saudi Arabia and they have been friends of mine for a long time," Trump said Thursday, according to The Times.

"They've invested in many American companies. They own big percentages of many, many American companies and frankly, what they are doing for golf is so great, what they are doing for the players is so great. The salaries are going to go way up," the former president said.

Newsweek reached out to LIV Golf for comment.