LPGA Tour star Suzann Pettersen Tuesday denied telling a Norwegian newspaper that President Donald Trump “cheats like hell” on the golf course.
Pettersen told Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang that she has known the president for more than 10 years and has played multiple rounds of golf with him. She was quoted by the newspaper Saturday as saying that Trump loves skipping short-range putts with the assumption that he would have made them, colloquially known as “gimmes,” and his wayward drives often appear in the middle of the fairway.
“He cheats like hell,” Verdens Gang quoted the LPGA star. “I don’t quite know how he is in business. They say that if you cheat at golf, you cheat at business. I’m pretty sure he pays his caddie well, since no matter how far into the woods he hits the ball, it’s in the middle of the fairway when we get there.”
On Tuesday morning, as the quotes began to spread across major American news outlets, Pettersen took to Twitter and referred to the assertion that she called Trump a cheater as “fake news.”
“Sometimes you do interviews and media will twist whatever word/ saying to make a headline! It’s shocking to see,” Pettersen wrote on Twitter. “This is what I would call #fakenews Why would I call someone a cheat…. never!”
She subsequently deleted the Tweet, before adding the following post on her Facebook page:
Over the last few days, the media has quoted me that I said President Trump “cheats in golf.” Not true at all and this has been taken WAY out of context from a long interview I did last week with a Norwegian media outlet. With a big smile on my face what I said was that he most likely paid his caddy well because every time he found his ball it was in the fairway. The way this has been requoted by many other media outlets is NOT correct and not a fair account of the original interview. I surely hope journalists that requote things like this in the future will read the full story and not just read headlines. Things always seem to come out the wrong way and what’s sad is that this was a very positive interview. To me it seems like the media enjoys twisting things for their readers and viewers. Another lesson learned. I’m sorry for Mr. Trump who I have known many years, who loves the game, and who I consider a friend!
While she has seen Trump twice since he’s become president and still considers him a friend, Pettersen said she does not agree with his policies, according to Verdens Gang.
“I’m not a supporter of what he says or stands for,” Pettersen told the newspaper. “I thought it was very strange during the presidential campaign that he wasn’t smarter about how he communicated. He could have won more easily but made some blunders with his statements. That’s because he is so stubborn. He has not changed five millimeters since becoming president.”
Trump, who is scheduled to give his State of the Union address Tuesday night, has long been an avid golfer and played regularly during his first year as president. He’s teed off with numerous athletes and professional golfers, including Tiger Woods in November.