Commander In Cheat
(What a sad little man.)
By Ryan Bort
Rolling Stone (4/2/19)
Last month, Golf.com reported that President Trump’s 2018 club championship at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, may not have been totally legitimate. Though a plaque at the club lists the president as the victor, the championship was actually won by a hedge fund manager named Ted Virtue. Trump didn’t even compete in the event, but when he ran into Virtue at the club on a later date, he challenged him to an impromptu nine-hole match for the right to the title. Virtue couldn’t not accept. Trump won. The title was his.
I’ve heard of guys fudging their ball mark another foot forward. I’ve heard of a guy throwing it out of a bunker when no one could see him. But never in my life have I heard somebody taking another guy’s ball and throwing it in a bunker.
But as Rick Reilly explains in his new book Commander in Cheat, an in-depth look at the president’s relationship with golf released Tuesday by Hachette Books, an asterisk the size of Trump’s ego belongs next to every “win” he takes down on the golf course. The 2018 title at Trump International was no exception, as Reilly tells Rolling Stone:
“They’re playing [for the title, along with Virtue’s son], and the story I’ve heard now three times is that Trump hit it in the water on 16. They see the ball go in the water. Virtue hits it on the green, his son hits it on the green, but when they get up there, because Trump is always way ahead in his own cart, the caddy is lining up Trump’s ball for a putt. Virtue’s kid says, ‘Mr. President, that’s my ball.’ The caddy says, ‘No, this is Mr. Trump’s ball. Your ball went in the water.’ And the kid, who’s 12 or 13 or whatever, goes, ‘Dad, that was a new ball. That’s my ball.’ And Virtue’s like, ‘I’ll buy you another ball.’ Trump sinks the putt on that hole and goes on to win, and that’s how he’s the club champion.”
Sadly, this is only the latest example of the president’s appalling disregard for the rules of the game. In Commander in Cheat, Reilly provides an exhaustive account of the myriad ways Trump has taken advantage of a game that requires its participants to self-govern. From lying about his scores, to hitting multiple balls, to sabotaging the shots of his opponents, Trump seems to have done it all. …
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