On Sunday, President Donald Trump made a surprise call to the NBC Sports broadcast of the PGA’s charity skins game raising funds for coronavirus relief, CNBC reported. The president spoke with NBC’s Mike Tirico during the unexpected discussion, in which he said he was happy to see professional golfers back on the course.
The PGA held the TaylorMade Driving Relief tournament, and it was among the first professional sports events that have happened since many leagues shut down due to COVID-19 in mid-March. No spectators were on the links during the matches, though. Trump, who owns several golf courses around the world, admitted during the 10-minute call that he’d missed golf, as well as sports in general.
“I do miss it. I haven’t played, really, since this problem that we have started, I haven’t been able to play golf for a while, I’ve been very busy,” Trump said.
Sunday’s match featured Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Matthew Wolff, according to a Yahoo Sports report. It wasn’t a regular event, but the PGA does have the Charles Schwab Challenge at Fort Worth, Texas, scheduled for June 11, which is its first tour event since the association shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. The upcoming June tournament will not have any fans on the golf course, but the president said he’s not only ready for sports to return but also for fans to be able to attend all the events in significant numbers.
“We want to get sports back,” Trump was quoted as telling Tirico.
“We miss sports. We need sports in terms of the psyche of our country. We want big big stadiums loaded with people. We don’t want to have 15,000 people watching Alabama-LSU, as an example.”
For now, many professional leagues throughout the United States and the world are still working to figure out how to play competitively for 2020 in a safe way, so far, most don’t have a definite answer and are still negotiating the details.
Ahead of this weekend’s charity game, McIlroy — the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world — made waves when he spoke out about his decision not to play another round with Trump should the opportunity present itself, The Inquisitr reported. He criticized the president for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
For his part, Trump did not mention McIlroy’s comments during his phone call with Tirico. Instead, he noted that he knows the golfers and said they were all good individuals.