Tiger Woods did his best to stay clear of controversy on Sunday when he was asked after the final round of the Northern Trust about his relationship with President Donald Trump.
Woods has played golf with Trump, including after he was elected in 2016 and again last year at Thanksgiving with golfers Dustin Johnson and Brad Faxon.
“Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years,” Tiger Woods said during a post-round interview at Ridgewood Country Club. “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”
When pressed about some people being threatened by Trump “and his policy,” as well as Woods’ seemingly friendly relationship with the president, Woods said:
“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 more to say about the state and discourse of race relations, Woods said: “No. I just finished 72 holes and am really hungry.”
Woods has played golf with former presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the latter both in and out of office. There were efforts to coordinate something with George W. Bush, but it never came together, as the president cut back on his golfing in his second term.
Like golfers Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Phil Mickelson, Woods has a villa named after him at Trump’s Doral resort in Miami.
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