Ernie Els played a round of golf with US President Donald Trump this weekend and it sparked a few conversations.
The Big Easy was out to secure help for the Els for Autism Foundation from Trump, who is heavily involved with golf course real estate.
‘Trump has a lot of (golf) properties and he’s given us a couple of his properties free of charge,’ Els explained to Golf Channel on Tuesday. ‘He wants to be helpful, he wants to be in and that’s the kind of guy he is.’
The newly-elected president has garnered media attention for his radical statements and his schemes to ‘Make America great again.’
His controversial nature caused Els’ friends to question the round of golf, but Kempton Park’s finest golf product dismissed the criticism.
‘A lot of my own friends were not for (Trumop). They kind of needled me a little bit, saying I was a suck-up. I just said, “Go eff yourself. I played with the President and you haven’t.” You can’t please everybody. It was just golf and a good time.’
Having a good time with one of the most powerful men in the world will certainly help the Els for Autism Foundation, which was founded in Florida.
’It was one of the most special groups of people I’ve been around,’ said Els. ‘I’ve played with the queen of Malaysia, I’ve played with other presidents, but this is the most powerful guy in the whole world and to see him in his full security detail, it’s impressive.’
The Big Easy will tee up at the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open this week, fresh off his practice round with President Trump.
‘I got it going on the back nine, made some birdies and stuff. I’d call it a tie. How’s that for a diplomatic answer,’ Els concluded.
Gary Player weighed in on the Trump conundrum from across the pond in France, where he was attending the Laureus Sports Awards. The 81 year old recently got a call from the US leader.
‘He’s trying to bring back the disciplines that America used to have. I’m very impressed. We’ll see … time will tell,’ Player said. ‘America is a land of division now. It used to be “united we stand” but a lot of the press are separating the people.’
Player spent a large portion of his career competing in the USA and generated big interest in South African golf with his major success, which includes victory at three Masters, two PGA Championships and one US Open.
‘Give the man a chance. We’ll know if he’s a good President in time. Don’t condemn him before. He’s only just started,’ he added.
Photograph from the 2013 WGC Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral, sourced from prweb.com