Golf

Els: Playing with Trump was ‘special’

2017-02-15 14:00
Donald Trump (AFP)

Cape Town - South African golfing icon Ernie Els says it was a special occasion to play a round with US President Donald Trump.

The newly-elected American President played with Els and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Trump National Golf Club last weekend.

READ: Twitter reacts to Els golfing with Trump

According to the Golf Channel website, Els received the invite from the director at Trump National Golf Club, while the four-time major champion was nursing a sore neck - which prevented him from playing in last week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Els, who owns a home near Trump National Golf Club in Florida, has a section on his website dedicated to his "friend", describing him as "the most recognised businessman in the world".

"It was one of the most special groups of people I've been around," Els told the Golf Channel on Tuesday.

"I've played with the queen of Malaysia, I've played with other presidents, but this is the most powerful guy in the whole world and to see him in his full security detail, it's impressive.

READ: Gary Player opens up on SONA, Trump

"I was all about, 'Mr President' and 'Sir' and all of that. I wanted to use that protocol because that's what a man in that position deserves," said Els.

"But to play with him as President puts him in another atmosphere."

Els said that discussions between the two on the fairway were primarily focused on his foundation, the Els for Autism Foundation.

"(Trump) has a lot of (golf) properties and he's given us a couple of his properties free of charge," said Els.

"He wants to be helpful, he wants to be in and that's the kind of guy he is."

When asked who won the round of golf, Els gave a tactful response, saying: "I got it going on the back nine, made some birdies and stuff. I'd call it a tie. How's that for a diplomatic answer?"

Els is in the field for this week's Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, starting on Thursday, February 17.

Read more on:    ernie els  |  donald trump  |  golf
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