20 days until golf: Reviewing Trump's impressive club championship haul
The PGA Tour plans to restart its season June 11 after halting due to the coronavirus pandemic. Each day until then, we'll highlight key moments, people, or facts relating to where we are in the countdown.
President Donald Trump says many things. The validity of his statements is for others to decide - except for when he's talking golf.
Trump claims to have won 20 club championships, an astonishing accomplishment for any golfer grinding it out at their home courses. His title count also includes wins in the senior and super-senior divisions, but that doesn't make his total any less impressive.
However, things become a little sketchy when diving into how he apparently goes about winning these club championships, using wealth and power to his advantage.
"Trump's going around telling people he has won 20. But that's 100% a lie," Rick Rielly, author of "Commander in Cheat," told Sean Illing of Vox. "I actually played with him once, and he told me how he does it."
"Whenever he opens a new golf course - because he owns 14 and operates another five - he plays the first club champion by himself and declares that the club championship and puts his name on the wall," Rielly continued. "But it’s usually just him and (first lady) Melania in the cart and nobody else. He just makes it up."
Trump's not afraid to boast about his championship total, including his 2013 call-out of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Trump's 20th club championship actually came while he was the sitting president in 2018 at the age of 72. He was unable to participate in the tournament at his Trump International course in South Florida but still found a way to earn the designation.
Well after the tournament was decided, Trump ran into winner Ted Virtue at the course and said something along the lines of: "The only reason you won is because I couldn't play," sources told Golf.com's Michael Bamberger.
Trump challenged Virtue to nine holes for the title and won. Despite telling Virtue afterward they could be co-champions, the plaque on Trump's locker doesn't indicate a shared championship.
As of March 2019, Trump's handicap was listed at 2.8, though he had only posted two scores since 2016.