Miami, United States | AFP |
Tiger Woods, who played golf three years ago with Barack Obama, teed off Friday with White House successor Donald Trump at the real estate mogul’s swank Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Woods, who will celebrate his 41st birthday on December 30, returned to competition this month after a 15-month injury layoff.
He joined the president-elect for 18 holes in West Palm Beach, a spokeswoman for Trump’s transition team said. Trump was to have meetings with “high-level staffers” after the round, press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.
In February 2013, 14-time major champion Woods played with Obama at a private golf resort in Florida.
Obama and Woods teamed up to defeat US trade representative Ron Kirk and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.
That golf outing was criticized after it came to light that it ended up costing US taxpayers nearly $3.6 million, according to a US Government Accountability report published this year.
The Trump Organization owns golf courses around the world, including historic Turnberry in Scotland, which has hosted the Open Championship four times.
However, Trump’s controversial comments on issues such as immigration during the US presidential campaign strained his relationships with some in the golf world.
The PGA of America stripped its 2015 Grand Slam of Golf from Trump National Los Angeles after Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants, and the event was later discontinued.
Activist Martha Burk is among those who have called for the US Golf Association to move the 2017 US Women’s Open from Trump National in New Jersey, a demand the USGA has declined to meet.
The US PGA Tour moved its longstanding tournament at Trump National Doral in the Miami area to Mexico City for the 2016-17 season, although tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in June that the move of the World Golf Championships event was not a “political exercise”.
However, Finchem acknowledged that having the Trump brand on the host course of the event made it harder to find a sponsor to replace outgoing tournament backer Cadillac, since Trump would share the limelight with any other corporate backer.
Although Trump blasted Obama during the campaign for playing too much golf, Golf Digest magazine recently listed the president-elect as among the best golfers in Washington with a 2.8 handicap.