Trump casts shadow over US Women's Open
For golfers and top athletes, it’s becoming par for the course to be asked questions about the opportunity of meeting US President Donald Trump.
For the likes of world No. 1 Ryu So-yeon, former US Open champion Michelle Wie, and former world No. 1 Lydia Ko any questions about the potential of bumping into Trump prompted responses that their focus was very much on the golf.
“I take my role as a female role model very seriously,” Wie told reporters. “This week is about the golf.
“This is our national championship and one of my favorite weeks of the year,” she added. “I really want to focus on the golf part and hopefully inspire a lot of young women — and women in general, hopefully — with my game.”
CNN contacted the White House press office who declined to comment on Trump’s plans. “We have no guidance to provide on the weekend as of now,” the White House said, via email.
Meanwhile, CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan has urged Trump to “stay away” from one of the key events of the women’s Tour.
“He will steal the spotlight from the golfers who deserve it, women who receive a fraction of the attention, and the pay, of their male counterparts.”
In April, four-time major champion McIlroy said he would “think twice” about playing golf with the Trump again after the “backlash” he received.
Trump owns a number of golf courses around the world. He’s also a keen golfer and the Golf News Net website estimates he’s “on track to play 480 rounds in office over eight years, assuming he wins re-election and completes both terms.”
As president, Trump has sporadically shown up to private events at his properties, including dropping in on a couple getting married at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club last month.
Before sitting in office, chance meetings with the real estate mogul were a selling point for prospective brides and grooms in the club’s brochure, which has since been discontinued.
White House invitations
Since Trump’s inauguration in January, college and pro athletes have been faced with decisions on whether to attend traditional White House celebratory visits.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell was one of about a dozen players invited to the Oval Office to meet Trump, telling ESPN it “was just a great feeling to have that type of recognition from somebody like him.”