On Tuesday morning, an interview LPGA pro Suzann Petterson did with a Norwegian newspaper made some headlines. If you’re surprised by that (as well you should be), the subject of the quotes should clear things up a bit.
A summary, via Golf.com:
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.
This is no surprise! Trump is probably a decent golfer, especially for a man his age. God knows he plays enough to keep his swing and short game sharp. But the idea that he’s some kind of scratch player has always had air quotes around it for me. Of course he takes long gimmes. Of course he probably takes multiple mulligans, and of course he doesn’t take stroke and distance penalties (or any penalties at all) when he finds a hazard or hits it OB. (Presumably he has a problem with his efforts veering too far to the right.)
Pettersen, though, attempted to walk back her quotes, employing Trump’s own favored rhetoric by calling it #fakenews in a deleted tweet. Pettersen also posted this to 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!
The original outlet is standing by their story, though, and considering this isn’t the first time this particular accusation has arisen, they’re probably right to do so.