Presidents Cup readies in case of Trump

The Royal Melbourne Golf Course are readying for the security challenges that would come with hosting Donald Trump at this year's Presidents Cup.

11-Jan-2019 By Callum Godde, Australian Associated Press

Avid golfer Donald Trump could be walking the links of Royal Melbourne flanked by security during December's Presidents Cup.

That's one situation organisers are readying for as the biennial tournament returns for a third edition at the iconic Australian golf course.

The 45th US President attended the world-renowned event two years ago, presenting the trophy to the Americans as they beat the internationals at New Jersey's Liberty National.

Having hosted the competition in 1998 and 2011, Royal Melbourne general manager Warwick Hill-Rennie said officials would lean on the US PGA for help if he lobbed on course.

"The main difference is around security, particularly if the President does come," Hill-Rennie said during the Australian Master of the Amateurs' coverage.

"That's something we'll need to learn a lot of from the PGA Tour because we would have never seen security arrangements the likes of that.

"It'll add some complexity, no doubt."

Hill-Rennie said 130,000 spectators are expected to flock to Royal Melbourne for the tournament.

But 11 months out, he's received no word on whether Trump will be one of them and doesn't expect that to change any time soon.

"We do know there's been a general invitation from the (Victorian) Governor (Linda Dessau) to the President to stay at Government House," he said.

"But we possibly ... won't know President Trump's (security) detail until the day before."

Hill-Rennie gave prospective patrons an idea of what the leader of the free world's presence would mean given the precautions put in place for the 2017 event.

"When he arrived in New York, there were dummy helicopters. There were warships in the bay; snipers on the roof," he said.

"It's just a whole new level. We've never seen that in Australia."

But tournament security could be ramped up with or without Trump, owing to two of his predecessor's apparently having interest in making the trip.

"We understand (Bill) Clinton and (Barack) Obama may be likely to come and they obviously have significant security detail as well," Hill-Rennie said.


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