“Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years,” the veteran golfer said after finishing tied for 40th in the Northern Trust tournament in Paramus, New Jersey (see the clip below). “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. ... I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”
When a reporter noted that people of color have felt threatened by Trump and his policies, and that observers find Woods’ relationship with him “interesting,” the 14-time majors winner responded: “Well, he’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
Asked if he had any comment on race relations, Woods replied, “No. I just finished 72 holes and am really hungry,” according to Sports Illustrated.
Trump was clearly pleased with the golfer’s middle-of-the-fairway comments, tweeting on Monday that Woods was “very smart” not to be baited by the “Fake News Media.”
Woods has previously reached out to both sides of the aisle on the links. He has played with presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the sports network said.