PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, Fred Ridley were part of win for Team Trump

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, Fred Ridley were part of win for Team Trump

PGA Tour

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, Fred Ridley were part of win for Team Trump

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ATLANTA – When PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan got the invitation to play golf with President Donald Trump last Saturday, he didn’t hesitate to say yes.

“You always have to honor the office of the presidency,” Monahan said Tuesday morning at a gathering of media members at East Lake Golf Club, home to this week’s Tour Championship. “I’m concerned about criticism for everything. But in this instance, he has been a great supporter of the Presidents Cup. He loves our game. He has a relationship with a lot of our players.

“I’m not there for political reasons. I’m there to support him, and he has asked me to be there with peers in our industry. It’s a chance for us to spend some time together and have a wonderful time.

“By the way, he’s a good player.”

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At Trump Bedminster in New Jersey, home to the 2022 PGA Championship, Monahan teamed with Trump and Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley in a match against the team of NBC Sports President Pete Bevacqua, Andrew Giuliani, the son of the former New York mayor, and Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Team Trump won 2 and 1.

“It was a great golf match,” Monahan said. “We had a wonderful time. I played this year, and I also played last year with the president. I was invited in both instances, and I quickly said yes. We have great respect for the office of the presidency, and it’s an awesome opportunity. As his teammate, that’s a little bit of extra pressure, but it was a nice day.

President Donald Trump speaks before presenting the winner’s trophy to the U.S. team after the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“We’re obviously a nonpartisan organization. You recognize that. But here’s a person that, preceding his time in office and preceding his time taking the most important job in the world, he played a lot of golf and was very involved in the golf business. A lot of people in our business and our industry have a long history and have had relationships with him over a long period of time.”

The PGA Tour used to play a World Golf Championships event at Trump Doral. In 2017 at the Presidents Cup played at Liberty National in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, Trump gave the Cup to the victorious U.S. team.

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“And then he becomes the President of the United States, and he continues to play golf,” Monahan said. “For him, it’s an outlet, and it’s an opportunity to rest and play and to have some fun. And the world is seeing that the person with the most important job in the world is playing golf, I think that’s a great thing for our game.”

Monahan said he has extended an invitation to Trump to attend the upcoming Presidents Cup in Australia in December.

“We’d love to see him there,” Monahan said. “I mean, he’s got a very busy schedule. He’s thinking about it. He’s very curious about both teams. I think he takes a lot of pride in the event itself given the experience of 2017.”

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