Tiger Woods plans to visit Trump next week in White House
As he prepares for the second major tournament of the golf season, Tiger Woods is planning to squeeze in a visit to one of his golfing partners next week, heading to see President Trump in the White House.
Woods, who is tentatively scheduled for a Monday visit, is not likely to play in the AT&T Byron Nelson next week in Dallas. That’s the last tournament before golf’s next major, the PGA Championship, which begins May 16, and Woods apparently has chosen not to enter any tournaments since winning the Masters on April 14.
Woods, who lives not far from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., golfed with the president and Jack Nicklaus in early February, an event the president excitedly tweeted about. The two have teed off together several times, including during Christmastime 2017 and at Thanksgiving last year.
The White House usually is reluctant to confirm Trump is golfing, but the Woods and Nicklaus grouping was special and reporters were allowed inside the president’s Jupiter, Fla., club. The president later shared a photo on social media, and the Trump Organization notes on its website that Woods and Nicklaus, who endorsed Trump for president, have designed courses for the company.
Sharing a friendship with this president has been tricky for some athletes as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady discovered when a MAGA hat was found in his locker in September 2015. He pointed out they have been longtime friends and golfing partners, but added “it’s just a friendship.” And, when the Patriots visited the White House after winning the Super Bowl in 2017, Brady had other plans and stayed away. Woods, like Brady, emphasized the friendship predates the 2016 presidential election.
“We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency,” Woods said last summer at the Northern Trust.
Woods was asked how he felt about Trump’s immigration policy, and he drew a line between the presidency and the president.
“He’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office,” he said. “No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
That discretion earned praise from Trump, with the president tweeting: “The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game — he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!”
Last month, Trump was avidly watching as Woods won his fifth Masters and tweeted the next day he would be presenting the golfer with the Presidential Medal of Freedom because of “his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE.” Woods would join fellow golfers Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charles Sifford as Medal of Freedom recipients.