Like I’ve said, of course there was never a chance Donald Trump would be able to resist attending the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. If he had the ability to show up quietly and in an unassuming manner and manage to *not* divert attention from the actual golf, then fine, fair enough.
But now we’re back to where we were before the tournament started, with Trump upstaging the women and the most preeminent championship with the largest purse in the ladies game — that’s really my main issue. It’s already been a massive distraction from the actual golf and there were complaints of reporters asking the competitors Trump-related questions in the pre-tourney pressers (which were mostly fair game and expected).
Trump, who was in France to attend Bastille Day, tweeted that Air Force One was en route to the Women’s Open:
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
President Trump will be accompanied by a trove of Secret Service agents, the White House pool and his delegation. His visit will be the fourth to his club in Bedminster, dubbed the “Summer White House” and “Camp David North.” He’s scheduled to spend the weekend there (he has a townhouse or living accommodations on the property). Via the Washington Post:
On Thursday night, players were alerted about heightened security measures Friday morning. The players were told to factor in 20 extra minutes to arrive at the course, and that they would be asked to leave their cars so they could be checked before driving onto the grounds. Officials notifying the players of these measures repeatedly said, “Everything is subject to search.”
“My caddie saw a Secret Service agent with a sniper! I think Ivanka was here with her husband,” pro golfer Alison Lee says she told a competitor at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open. “And there is a little spectator tent just left of 15 green that is clearly bulletproof.” … In a notice to players, the U.S. Golf Association cited “a precautionary measure and a best practice for the championship” as it implemented a handful of new security measures late this week, reminding players to leave extra time to get through the metal detectors and “comprehensive” security checks. “They made me pour out my Starbucks in the security screen yesterday,” player Tiffany Joh added.
Trump is expected to arrive at 3pm ET at Newark airport (probably) and will motorcade to the golf course. A sitting president has never attended the U.S. Women’s Open. And only three sitting presidents have attended the men’s U.S. Open — Warren Harding (1921), Gerald Ford (1982) and Bill Clinton (1997) — according to Golfweek. Via GolfChannel.com:
“If he does come, we would certainly welcome him,” USGA Executive Director Mike Davis told GolfChannel.com on Wednesday. “Since our beginning in 1895, we’ve only had [two] sitting presidents come to an event, and we’ve never had a sitting president come to the U.S. Women’s open. Out of respect for the office, regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on, we would welcome that.” Davis was asked if fans should expect Trump to present the trophy on Sunday should he attend. “That’s not the plans right now,” Davis said.
Oh, you know Trump will definitely be presenting the trophy if he’s still on the grounds Sunday. Since he’s relatively predictable (I mean, in a way, even his tweet-rants are), I have a feeling he would have no problem using his authority to take center stage during the trophy ceremony, which, once again, would upstage the woman crowned the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open champion.
“If he does (come),” said Ko, “I’m sure he’s here to see some great golf like he did before. If he does, that’s cool.” Lewis agreed. “I’ll tell you that I don’t think we’ve had an active president at an LPGA event before,” said former No. 1 Stacy Lewis. “Is it pretty cool that an active president of the United States is coming to a women’s golf tournament? “That’s cool.”
You know what would be really cool? If Mexican-American Lizette Salas won.
Sure, it’s an honor to have any POTUS present the champion with the trophy. Let’s just hope there are no cringe-worthy handshakes or inappropriate groping.
I’m already cringing at the sight of the whole circus that will likely deliver a shitshow because the most predictable thing about this administration is that it’ll be sure to deliver just that. However, at least there aren’t too many fans in attendance, so I guess that will help keep things relatively calm. Perhaps there will be more people at the planned protest four miles from the entrance to the course.
Women’s advocacy group Ultraviolet has organized a series of choreographed events to express opposition to the USGA holding the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump Bedminster. From a press release:
Starting on Friday, July 14th and continuing through Sunday, July 16th, UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization, will protest the US Women’s Open being held at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
For months, UltraViolet had called on the USGA and LPGA to sever ties with Donald Trump, arguing that it is wildly inappropriate for one of the world’s most prestigious women’s golf tournaments to give millions of dollars in revenue, free advertising, and branding to Donald Trump, a self-admitted serial sexual predator and unapologetic misogynist.
As part of the actions – tournament attendees will be greeted with a plane banner flying over Trump National in Bedminster calling out the USGA for holding that tournament at a golf course owned by a self-professed sexual predator.
- WHEN: Friday, July 14th. 12:00pm – 2:00pm ET
- WHERE: Trump National Golf Course. Bedminster, NJ.
- THE PLANE BANNER WILL READ: USGA: STAND WITH WOMEN, NOT TRUMP
Over the weekend, a digital truck billboard will circle the Bedminster golf course with messages from news columnists about why the USGA’s decision to hold the US Women’s Open at Trump’s golf course. The billboard will also feature some of Trump’s more vile and sexist comments about women and juxtapose that with a message slamming the USGA for doubling down on their association with Trump’s brand.
- WHEN: Saturday, July 15th & Sunday, July 16th. 10:00am – 3:00pm ET
- THE BILLBOARD WILL BE PARKED AT: Clarence Dillon Public Library 2336 Lamington Rd, Bedminster Township, NJ 07921. The billboard will be parked at the library from 12pm to 1pm ET on Saturday and on Sunday.
- VIEW THE TRUCK BILLBOARD CREATIVE: https://www.flickr.com/photos/weareultraviolet/albums/72157683741560641
On Sunday, UltraViolet members will rally outside Trump’s Bedminster course, expressing outrage at the USGA for doubling-down on their relationship with Trump and putting the athletes competing at the US Women’s Open in the impossible position of having to defend playing on a sexist, serial sexual abuser’s golf course.
- WHEN: Sunday, July 16th. 10:30am ET
- LOCAL CONTACT: Melissa Byrne | 609-364-4267
- FOR MORE INFORMATION: https://www.facebook.com/events/304996056632244/
Earlier this week, USA Today reported that the Trump Organization threatened to sue the USGA and LPGA if they moved the US Women’s Open from Trump’s Bedminster course and many have mentioned that Trump is likely to be at Bedminster this weekend, and attend the US Women’s Open. Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, explained: “By allowing the US Women’s Open to go forward at Trump’s Bedminster golf course, and continuously defending their association with Trump, the USGA has shown their cards: They are more interested in standing with a serial sexual abuser and notorious misogynist than they are with promoting and supporting the stellar female athletes playing at the US Women’s Open this week. “The reality is simple – the USGA has done nothing but defend their association with Donald Trump and his toxic brand from day one – putting the players at the US Women’s Open in the impossible position of having to play on a course named for a serial sexual abuser of women, one who will profit from this tournament directly. “We are outraged that the USGA has decided to stand with a sexist and obscure the talents of the great women playing at the US Women’s Open. These athletes deserve better.”
Following Trump’s tweet confirming his attendance, Thomas released a statement:
“Donald Trump has a long and well documented history of sexual assault and sexual harassment. More than a dozen women have come forward to state that Trump sexually assaulted them. Trump himself was caught red handed proudly boosting of this behavior on the infamous Access Hollywood tape. Let’s be clear, by choosing to hold this tournament at Trump’s course, the USGA and the LGPA are endorsing Trump’s behavior. That is not only shameful and outrageous, but it is a huge disservice to the golfers who are playing this weekend.
“For months we urged the USGA and LGPA to move this tournament. They ignored us. Now, they are allowing Trump to use this tournament, and sadly the players, to benefit his own self-interests. The USGA and LPGA could have made a clear and unequivocal statement against sexual assault by moving this tournament. Instead they chose to embrace the man who is a walking talking example of a sexual predator. Shame on the USGA. Shame on the LPGA. This is a stain on your brand that will not wash away.”
Trump will have his own presidential suite/tent to view the golf:
Noticeable uptick in security presence around the grounds ahead of Trump’s arrival pic.twitter.com/P369tHKpoL
— Luke Kerr-Dineen (@LukeKerrDineen) July 14, 2017
Fredo Don Jr.?!?
Angela Stanford on Trump’s planned appearance today. pic.twitter.com/qSkVLODGSE
— Luke Kerr-Dineen (@LukeKerrDineen) July 14, 2017
More security ramping up as the President is expected to show up any minute!
Well, one thing we have learned to expect for this administration is that some sort of shitshow will occur. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a distraction. After all, the U.S. Women’s Open is the most prestigious event in the women’s game. (And yes, I’m aware that I’m not helping by talking about the unavoidable Trump factor, but that’s on Trump and the USGA.)