PGA boss 'would love' to see Trump in Aus

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has extended an invitation to US President Donald Trump to attend the Presidents Cup in Melbourne in December.

21-Aug-2019 By Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press
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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan believes US President Donald Trump is "thinking about" a visit to Australia for his namesake event at Royal Melbourne in December.

Monahan, who played golf with Trump in New Jersey last week, says Trump has an open invitation to attend the biennial teams event to be held December 12-15.

Trump visited the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National in New Jersey.

He was the first sitting President to attend the Cup since Bill Clinton visited the 2000 edition in Virginia.

In 2017, Trump was also the first President to present the trophy in the Cup's then 23-year history.

"Yes ... I would love to see him there (in Australia)," Monahan told reporters on Tuesday morning at the Tour Championship.

"He knows he has the invitation and he is thinking about it.

"He has a very busy schedule; whether or not he could do that.

"(But) he is very curious about both teams and takes a lot of pride in the event, given the experience (he had) in 2017."

Monahan's invitation follows that of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who asked Trump to attend when they had a private dinner together in June.

Trump was asked by an Australian reporter during the open remarks at the start of that meeting if he would attend the golf tournament and replied: "I'd like to."

The Presidents Cup invites the heads of state from the host country to be honorary chairs of the event and all have accepted over the years.

Monahan played golf last week at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

They were joined by Trump's public liaison, Andrew Giuliani, as well as Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley, NBC Sports president Pete Bevacqua and chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton.

"It was great golf match and we had a wonderful time," Monahan said at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

"I played this year and last year. I was invited both instances and I quickly said yes.

"Any time I get asked to play with the President ... it's an awesome opportunity. We have great respect for the office of the presidency and he loves the game of golf."

Professional golf stars such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have faced intense scrutiny for playing golf with Trump from fans and media who disagree with Trump's policies and demeanour.

But Monahan said playing golf with Trump was not a political decision.

"Was I concerned about criticism? I'm concerned about criticism for everything.

"But he has been a great supporter of the Presidents Cup. He loves our game and he has a relationship with a lot of our players.

"For me, I'm not there for political reasons. I'm there to support him."


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