Celebrities and players have accused President Donald Trump of being one of the worst golf cheats to play the game.
Sports writer Rick Reilly, who played a round with Trump before the billionaire entered politics, said Trump lied about his score, claimed second attempts at a shot for no good reason and took credit for other players’ shots.
In his new book, Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, Reilly, who interviewed former professional golfers and celebrities wrote: ‘To say “Donald Trump cheats” is like saying “Michael Phelps swims.”‘
‘Trump doesn’t just cheat at golf. He cheats like a three-card monte dealer. He throws it, boots it and moves it,’ Reilly wrote.
According to Reilly, there was one game in which Trump played against former ESPN announcer Mike Tirico, before the president was elected.
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Celebrities and players have accused President Donald Trump of being one of the worst golf cheats to play the game in Rick Reilly’s new book, Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump
Trump has played against golf legends, Jack Nicklaus (left) and Tiger Woods (right). In Reilly’s book, Trump is said to have claimed that his handicap is a 2.8. The lower the handicap, the better the player. Nicklaus’ handicap is 3.4
Reilly writes that, Tirico hit a 230-yard 3-wood towards an elevated green he was unable to see.
However, Tirico knew it was close, but by the time he got to the green, the ball was gone.
It was eventually found 50-feet left of the hole in a bunker.
Tirico told Reilly that it didn’t make any sense until Trump’s caddy came up to him after the round.
‘Trump’s caddy came up to me and said, “You know that shot you hit on the par 5?” Tirico said.
“‘It was about 10 feet from the hole. Trump threw it in the bunker. I watched him do it,”‘ Tirico told Reilly.
Reilly also tells another story in his book that involves Trump claiming that his handicap is a 2.8.
The lower a golfer’s handicap is, the better a player they are.
Ivanka Trump, Nicklaus and Trump at the unveiling of the Jack Nicklaus Villa at Trump Doral on February 20, 2015 in Doral, Florida
For example, legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, who has 18 major golf titles under his belt, has a handicap of 3.4, which is listed on the Golf Handicap and Information Network website used by Trump.
‘If Trump is a 2.8,’ Reilly wrote. ‘Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter.’
According Reilly, caddies had given Trump the nickname ‘Pele’ because he would kick the ball so often to move it to a better position.
Trump, who has faced scrutiny for the amount of time he spends golfing, has previously denied cheating.
But golfers and other celebs told Reilly otherwise: ‘Whether you’re his pharmacist or Tiger Woods, if you’re playing golf with him, he’s going to cheat.’
According to the sports writer, Trump would take second chances on a shot, claiming he had been distracted or a bird had flown over, and hit other players’ balls that were closer to the hole.
On another occasion, Trump reportedly hit a ball into a lake and while his opponents weren’t lookking, he dropped another ball
‘So he drives up and drops where he should’ve dropped the first time and hits it on the green,’ Faxon, the veteran PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon told Reilly.
Reilly said there was one game in which Trump played against former ESPN announcer, Mike Tirico. Tirico knew his ball was close, but by the time he got to the green, the ball was gone. It was eventually found 50-feet left of the hole in a bunker
Samuel L. Jackson has also witnessed Trump reportedly cheating during a game.
‘We clearly saw him hook a ball into a lake at Trump National [Bedminster, New Jersey],’ he says, ‘and his caddy told him he found it!”
In addition he would wrongly record his score and had claimed a ‘gimme’ – an easy putt which the opponent accepts will be made – when he needed to chip the ball in from off the green.
Reilly said Trump even cheated while playing 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, allegedly ignoring the fact he had hit the ball into a water hazard.
Trump has come under scrutiny for the amount of time he spends playing golf, after he criticized his predecessor Barack Obama for the same thing.
In October 2014, he tweeted: ‘Can you believe that with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter.’
And on the campaign trail he promised voters: ‘I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.’
But after his first year in office White House schedules and press reports revealed he had spent time at a golf resort on 91 out of 365 days.
Before becoming President, Trump had criticized Barack Obama – pictured playing with David Cameron in 2016 – for the amount of golf he played while in office
Last month he played golf in Florida with Nicklaus and Woods.
Both Nicklaus and Woods are among Trump’s regular golf partners.
Reilly’s claims echo those of female golfer Suzann Pettersen who said Trump ‘plays his caddy well’ as his ball would always end up on the fairway.
She was quoted as saying that Trump ‘cheats like hell’ but later called the claim ‘fake news’, echoing Trump.
In 2016, then-candidate Trump denied claims from boxer Oscar De La Hoya that he had cheated on the golf course.
Trump said De La Hoya had ‘played terribly’ when they met in Los Angeles, saying: ‘I’m a much better golfer than him.’