LPGA star on golf with Trump: ‘He cheats like hell’

January 30, 2018

LPGA legend Suzann Pettersen is fond of the sitting U.S. president. But she’s not so sure about his handicap.

In an interview with Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, Pettersen detailed the many sides to her relationship with President Trump, whom she has known on and off the golf course for over a decade.

“He cheats like hell,” the 15-time LPGA Tour winner said. “So I don’t quite know how he is in business. They say that if you cheat at golf, you cheat at business.” Pettersen also said the president must pay his caddies well, as drives that are headed for the woods always ends up back in the fairway. She also mentioned his fondness for gimmes.

UPDATE: Pettersen pushed back against the Verdens Gang story in a tweet on Tuesday, calling it “#fakenews”.

The merits of President Trump’s 3 handicap have come under scrutiny since he took office. Sen. Lindsey Graham told GOLF.com’s Michael Bamberger about a round of 73 Trump shot in “wet, windy conditions,” and aspiring pro Taylor Funk recently reported that Trump had shot 36 on the front nine during their round together. But Pettersen said in the interview that she hasn’t seen that side of his game.

“He always says he is the world’s best putter. But in all the times I’ve played him, he’s never come close to breaking 80,” she said.

“But what’s strange is that every time I talk to him he says he just golfed a 69, or that he set a new course record or won a club championship some place. I just laugh.”

Pettersen, who used to talk on the phone monthly with Trump, said she knows how much he cares about her and that she’s glad the two have stayed in touch since the election, even though she doesn’t agree with many of his policies.

“I’m not a supporter of what he says or stands for,” she said. “I thought it was very strange during the presidential campaign that he wasn’t smarter about how he communicated.”

Pettersen caught criticism for tweeting out congratulations to Trump after his 2016 election victory.

“He could have won more easily, but made some blunders with his statements,” she said. “That’s because he is so stubborn. He has not changed five millimeters since becoming president.”

Read the interview in its entirety HERE.