Trump joined the NBC show on Sunday in “TaylorMade Driving Relief,” a Skins game involving Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff. It was the first live golf on television since the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed golf and other sports on March 12.
The PGA Tour plans to return June 11 to the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. The tour said it wouldn’t have fans for at least a month.
“After that, I hope it will be back,” said Trump in his interview with NBC host Mike Tirico. “We really want to get this back to normal, so when we have all these thousands, tens of thousands of people going to your majors and going to golf tournaments, we want them to have the same experience. We don’t want them to be forced to wear masks and do what we’ve been doing for several months. Because it does not return to normal.
“We want to get back to normal where you have the big crowd, and they practically stand on top of each other and have fun, not where they are worried,” he said. “But in the meantime, they are doing social distancing, and they are practicing it. And they are doing very well. The country is ready to move forward. “
No fans or media have been allowed into the Skins game at the Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida. The same policies will be in place next Sunday at the neighboring medalist for a charity match of Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.
Trump said he knew most of the PGA Tour players and played with many of them. This includes McIlroy three years ago. McIlroy criticized Trump on the McKellar Journal podcast this week for politicizing the pandemic and said he would no longer play golf with him.
Tirico has elevated McIlroy’s name among those who have played with Trump and what they are talking about on the golf course. The president has not bitten off McIlroy’s recent comments.
“Many of them are very political, in fact,” said Trump. “Some people like my politics a lot, and probably not others. I guess those who don’t, I don’t see as much. “