Bosses at LIV Golf have responded to protests by relatives of 9/11 victims ahead of its event in Portland.
The second tournament – the first on US soil – began yesterday at Pumpkin Ridge.
However, on the morning of the first day, families of those killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks attempted to confront players over their decision to take part in the Saudi-funded series.
Of the 19 hijackers, 15 were from the country.
“We have tremendous respect and sympathy for the families of anyone whose loved one was killed on September 11, 2001,” a spokeswoman for LIV told bunkered.co.uk.
“Al Qaeda’s attack on the United States was a national tragedy.
“We continue to believe that sports, including golf, are an important way to bring change to the world. Sports is a productive outlet for millions of young people everywhere and we are proud that golf is increasingly popular throughout the world, including the Middle East.
“Golf is a force for good that entertains and teaches the values of fair play, competition, and excellence through hard work.
“We understand and respect that not everyone will agree with us, but we believe deeply that golf is a force for good and we look forward to continuing our efforts to grow the game, in the U.S. and around the world.”
Almost 3,000 people were killed when four flights were hijacked, with two being flown into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and another crashing after passengers overthrew the terrorists.
Families of those killed have objected to the LIV Series because of its links to Saudi Arabia.
After they were removed from outside the players’ hotel, one campaigner allegedly said: “Every tournament you’re going to have to deal with us, more people, our stories. We’re not going away.”