President Donald Trump has plans to spend yet another weekend on the golf course. For the fourth time since taking office, Trump will make an appearance in Bedminster, New Jersey. Instead of taking to the course with his clubs in tow he will simply play host at the U.S. Women’s Open.
The third of five LPGA majors began Monday at the Trump National Golf Club with players and spectators alike anticipating an appearance from Trump himself later in the week. He will travel to Bedminster on Friday and not return to Washington D.C. until Sunday, according to a new pilots notice posted Monday morning by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Despite the White House not yet giving a response and no specific mention of the president in this document, VIP restrictions such as this one is almost identical to past notices for his trips to Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster.
“We were notified of the TFR (temporary flight restrictions) this morning but unfortunately we have no knowledge of the president’s schedule,” Janeen Driscoll, public relations director for the USGA, said. “We have a security plan in place, as we do for all of our championships. Our focus remains on conducting the ultimate test of golf for the best female players in the world.”
This will be the first tournament of 2017 that will be held at a Trump-owned course.
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After the PGA’s decision to move the World Golf Championship from Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami to Mexico City, the only headlines containing the words “Trump” and “golf” have been in regards to his various weekends away from the White House.
But leading up to the Women’s Open, that has changed. There was already been controversy surrounding the USGA’s decision to host a major at Trump’s course in Bedminster with one online petition has more than 100,000 signatures requesting the USGA move the tournament.
More recently, two-time major winner Brittany Lincicome was the next to voice her opinion on whether an appearance from the president is acceptable or not.
“Hopefully maybe he doesn’t show up and it won’t be a big debacle and it will be about us and not him,” Lincicome said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t know him. I have met him probably once. I think it will be fine. We’re going to play an amazing golf course and let our clubs do the talking.
“It’s a fine line because the USGA picked that golf course years ago. It would be so impossible, even if we wanted to boycott it. I mean, the purse is so big, I don’t think anybody would. … We don’t get to play for that much money that often.”
Lincicome does have a point. The $5 million purse is the highest ever for this LPGA major with the winner taking home $900,000.
It’s no secret that there is a huge wage gap between PGA and LPGA players. While the USGA made history with its largest prize purse ever for the men’s U.S. Open, players on the women’s tour have yet to make over $2 million this season. An appearance from Trump can go wrong in a number of ways, but one thing it will surely do is bring attention to the LPGA tour — even if it is negative attention.