Trump's Women's Open visit a security challenge

By Associated PressJuly 14, 2017, 10:22 pm

BEDMINSTER, N.J. - Some of the best golfers in the world are competing in New Jersey this weekend - and vying for attention with a guy whose best finish was an age-group club title.

That would be President Donald Trump.

The president's arrival at his club on Friday created such a commotion that crowds at the U.S. Women's Open were asked to keep it down as golfers Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson and Stacy Lewis approached the 15th green.

Trump, fresh off a quick trip to France, turned up in a glassed-off patio of the clubhouse with son Eric by his side.

Acknowledging the crowds, the president waved, pointed and gave a thumbs-up, prompting squeals from a group of schoolgirls. Dozens of people swarmed around the clubhouse snapping photos and waving as the president occasionally approached the window.

Trump's presence did pose a distraction to players. Chinese golfer Shanshan Feng said she could hear crowds screaming for the president from the 15th green.

And asked if she could tell which direction the crowds were looking, Thompson told reporters, ''not toward the golf.''

Trump's visit during the weekend tournament also poses a security challenge because his residence is on the course, where fans and players pass by throughout the day.

But the tournament's director said of Trump's visit: ''We're ready.''


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The event was expected to draw protesters critical of the U.S. Golf Association, which operates the tournament, for not moving it to a different venue after audio surfaced last year in which Trump made derogatory comments about women.

Trump has a history of making lewd and highly sexual comments toward and about women. An Access Hollywood tape released a month before the 2016 presidential election caught him bragging about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife.

Trump has spent several weekends at the club since his election in November but none during an event of this magnitude: 156 golfers and their entourages, and thousands of fans.

He's the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women's Open and the third to attend a USGA event. Warren G. Harding in 1921 and Bill Clinton in 1997 also attended a USGA event while serving as president, viewing the U.S. Open.

While the connection between American presidents and major sporting events is well-established - the tradition of throwing out the first pitch on baseball's opening day dates back to the early 20th century, for example - so are the security challenges.

Trump's residence at the course sits on more than 600 acres of rolling hills in central New Jersey farmland, where a steady stream of players and fans will be walking throughout the four days.

Maintaining boundaries between the president and the public is crucial, as is being able to adjust on the fly, according to Thom Bolsch, a retired Secret Service agent who served under Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

''Any movement that a protectee makes, the script is probably about 95 percent solid, where we know what he's doing and we've briefed the staff and the staff has briefed him,'' Bolsch told The Associated Press. ''But they're human and a lot of times they see people they know, or they see a crowd. They're politicians and they need to go and kiss babies, and they're going to go do it.''

At a visit last month, for instance, Trump surprised a couple celebrating their wedding at the club and posed for pictures with them.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.