Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley speaks to the patrons before the start of the 2019 Masters Thursday, April 11, 2019, at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta.
Photo: Jason Getz/For the AJC
Photo: Jason Getz/For the AJC

Augusta National chairman golfs with President Trump

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan didn't think twice when President Donald Trump invited him to play golf last Saturday.

It was the second time they have played since Trump has been in office.

“I’m concerned about criticism for everything that I do,” Monahan said Tuesday. “But in this instance ... listen, like I said, he has been a great supporter of the Presidents Cup. He loves our game. He’s got a relationship with a lot of our players. And to me, I’m not there for political reasons. I’m there to support him. He’s asked me to be there and be there along with other peers in our industry. It’s a chance for us to spend some time together and have a wonderful time.”

They played a match at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., where the 2022 PGA Championship will be held.

Monahan said his team of Trump and Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley beat NBC Sports President Pete Bevacqua; Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“We have great respect for the office of the presidency, and it’s an awesome opportunity,” Monahan said.

Monahan said Trump wanted to play the championship tee on the 17th hole, which would be used for the PGA Championship. He said it measured 502 yards for a par 4 and Trump reached the front of the green with a driver and a 3-wood.

“He loves the game of golf, and that’s very apparent,” Monahan said. “As his teammates, that’s a little bit of extra pressure. But it was a nice day.”

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