He may have been halfway around the world visiting with Pope Francis, but President Donald Trump was still a popular topic of conversation Wednesday at the Senior PGA Championship.
The second major of the over-50 season is being contested this week at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Va., and it represents the first tournament on a Trump golf course since he took office. The U.S. Women's Open will be held at another Trump course this summer, but players like defending champ Rocco Mediate were among the first to face a line of questions that blurred golf and politics.
For Mediate, who said he has worn a Trump logo on his shirt for the last "seven, eight years, I guess," the answers came easily.
"I'll say, President Trump is my friend. He has been my friend since 2008," Mediate said. "This isn't a bandwagon jump on the thing because he's president stuff. That's just not it. He's just been a very nice, extremely nice person with a lot of good advice he's given me over the years about certain things. But he's just my friend."
While Mediate eschewed certain questions about defending some of Trump's specific behaviors, recent PGA Tour Champions winner John Daly met them head-on.
"He's the President of the United States, I think people need to get on his wagon and ride with him and let him do what he's doing and leave him alone. It's not going to change for at least, you know, this year and three more," Daly said. "Seems like the Democrats always have a problem when a Republican gets in office. Republicans seem to kind of put up with the Democrats sometimes, we just go along with it. But I think they just need to leave him alone and let him do what he's doing. I think he's doing a hell of a job, I really do."
Fred Funk nearly won last week's Regions Traditions, and he told reporters that he added a Trump logo to his shirt this year upon switching his home course from Bear's Club to Trump National in Jupiter, Fla. Like Mediate, he opted out of certain Trump-specific questions but did defend the Commander-in-Chief's fundamental agenda.
"I believe in almost every policy he believes in," Funk said. "That he's, I mean, less regulation, smaller government, protect our border, bigger military, less taxes. I don't have a problem with anything."