Book: Trump Is Brazen Golf Cheater

'Commander in Cheat' offers dozens of examples
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 1, 2019 6:17 PM CDT
Book: Trump Is Brazen Golf Cheater
This book cover image provided by Hachette Books is of a new book by former sports columnist Rick Reilly titled “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.”   (Hachette Books via AP)

Colluding with Russia? The special counsel says no. Cheating at golf? Well, that's something else. From pulling a fast one on Tiger Woods to exaggerating his handicap, Donald Trump's alleged misdeeds on and around the golf course are the subject of a new book by former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump. Reilly documents dozens of examples of underhanded golf behavior by the president, transgressions talked about by pro golfers and duffers alike. "In golf, he's definitely not exonerated," Reilly told the AP. "There's been dozens and dozens of people that can declare him guilty of cheating." Outside of formal tournaments, golf is a game of honor in which individual players act as their own referees, keep their own scores and assess themselves penalties for rule violations. Says Reilly: "I don't know much about politics, but I know golf and [Trump's cheating] really offended me, not as a voter or as a citizen—just as a golfer."

One infamous instance came in a 2017 round with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, who is the current No. 1 player in the world. The president's playing partner, Fox Sports golf analyst Brad Faxon, reported that Trump's offenses included putting down a score that didn't account for two balls he hit into the water on one hole. Reilly also quotes players who accuse Trump, his caddie and Secret Service agents of regularly moving his golf balls out of difficult lies. At Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, the only non-Trump property where the president is a member, Reilly writes, "The caddies got so used to seeing him kick his ball back onto the fairway they came up with a nickname for him: 'Pele.'" That's the world soccer star from Brazil. And sports announcer Mike Tirico says Trump once threw Tirico's golf ball off the green into a nearby bunker when they played together. (Much more here.)

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