After becoming the first sitting U.S. president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament on Friday, President Donald Trump will again attend the prestigious tournament on Saturday.
The sport’s third major of the year is being held at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Trump, an avid golfer and golf fan, went to the second round of the tournament on Friday after he returned home from his two-day trip to Paris, France.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2017
Trump’s presence was welcomed by LPGA golfers even though there was some controversy before the event.
USA Today columnist Christine Brennan again tried to make herself the story by hounding female golfers about Trump—just like she did to Rory McIlroy at the Masters. She even wrote a column urging Trump to “stay away.” American golfer Brittany Lincicome revealed that she received some criticism from her fans on Twitter after she said she hoped Trump would not show up to the U.S. Open.
Though there were some anti-Trump protesters, most of the golfers welcomed Trump’s presence.
Even the New York Times conceded that “most of the players described his presence as a welcome distraction. By showing up, Trump elevated the profile of the women, whose attendance and television audience have not grown as fast as their talent pool, which is so deep that the first 18 events of the 2017 L.P.G.A. Tour season produced 17 different winners.”
American golfer Angela Stanford said she respected the office of the president and it was “pretty cool” that Trump would take the time to show up to the tournament.
“How many chances are you going to get to play on a president’s golf course during a U.S. Open?” Stanford said, according to the Times.
Stacy Lewis, who has consistently been one of the top American golfers for the last decade, said she was also excited that Trump was attending their most prestigious tournament.
“We never had an active sitting president at one of our events, so I was kind of excited about the prospect of, regardless of who it is, that he came here to watch us,” Lewis reportedly said, according to ESPN. “He tweeted about coming to the U.S. Women’s Open. Some people didn’t know it was going on.”
Left Paris for U.S.A. Will be heading to New Jersey and attending the#USWomensOpen, their most important tournament, this afternoon.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2017
American golfer Marina Alex said that “regardless of your political affiliation and whether you are a fan of Trump or you’re not a fan of Trump, having a president at a women’s golf event is pretty remarkable.”
“It’s going to draw attention to women’s golf that has maybe never been in our favor before,” she said, according to the Washington Post. “We have an unbelievable group of talented women playing golf right now. If it’s allowing more people to see us play our game, I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
As the Post noted, “Trump has long been a prominent supporter of the LPGA Tour, hosting several events and inviting top female golfers to play rounds on his courses.”
— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) July 14, 2017
Earlier, the USGA issued a statement that read, “If the President of the United States decides to attend the U.S. Women’s Open championship, we welcome him. ”
China’s Shanshan Feng (-8) leads the field by two strokes before moving day on Saturday. She’s followed by three South Koreans, including Amy Yang, who many believe is due to win a major, at six-under par. 2015 U.S. Open winner In Gee Chun (-4), Se Yeon Ryu (-4), the world’s top-ranked player, Canada’s Brooke Henderson (-3), one of the most exciting players on tour, Australia’s Minjee Lee (-3), New Zealand’s steady Lydia Ko (-3) and American Marina Alex (-3) are in contention.
Americans Lewis (-2), Christie Kerr (-2) and Lexi Thompson (-1), who has played some rounds with Trump in Florida, are still in the hunt.