He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere.
We’re talking about Donald Trump, possibly the most recognizable man in America these days, and certainly the most recognizable golf course owner in South Florida.
Trump, who owns several prime courses in South Florida, including the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral, is making a well-documented run for the presidency of the United States, and he made a surprise visit at The Barclays Championship on Sunday in Edison, New Jersey.
As usual of recent times, Trump’s presence was felt.
He refused to go inside the ropes, instead choosing to walk with the fans as is his wont, mingling and signing autographs and taking selfies with the common people.
“Not a heckler in the whole group,” Trump proudly declared.
The fans returned the compliment, yelling, “2016” and “Mr. President” at Trump.
The Donald, never known to turn down a crowd or the spotlight, gave them a thumbs-up and waved his hands. Trump was in a couple of his favorite elements — being on a golf course and having people admiring him.
One fan yelled out, “I hate Rosie O’Donnell, too,” referring to disparaging remarks Trump made about the actress. Trump responded by letting that fan take a selfie with him.
You certainly can put the politician in Donald Trump, but even more certainly you can’t take the golf out of him. He is a die-hard devotee of the sport (possibly the only thing he has in common with President Barack Obama).
Trump attended The Barclays, the first tournament of the FedEx Cup run, in order to watch Jim Herman play. Herman, playing in his first FedEx Cup event, served as an assistant pro in nearby Bedminster, New Jersey, on a course that Trump owns, and it was Trump who encouraged Herman to give the pro tour another try.
“It was nice to see him come out . . . and walk the rest of the way in,” Herman said. “He’s been really good to me.”
Playing with Herman was Pat Perez, who is of Mexican descent. And Trump is infamously known for his outspoken stance against illegal immigrants, which was a major part of his speech when he announced that he was running for the presidency.
No hard feelings from Perez.
“I love that guy,” Perez said of Trump. “I made two birdies coming in. He actually woke me up a little.”
Trump, although he certainly has VIP status, decided to follow the golfers on foot and he turned down a cart ride from PGA Tour security in order to shake hands and talk to the crowd — stuff that any good politician knows works well.
In addition, Trump visited the military hospitality tent on the course.
And, strangely, Trump met and talked to a fan who was pretty much dressed up like Santa Claus.
Since some of his controversial remarks during his presidential run, there has been talk about moving PGA Tour events from courses that Trump owns. That would include the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship held at Trump National Doral in March.
That talk has seemed to have died down and, as of now, the Doral event appears that it will stay on the Blue Monster. At least, there has been no announcement of any intended moved.
The main person who might have been upset at Trump’s appearance at The Barclays was Brian Harman, who might have received a lot more attention except for Trump’s appearance. Harman made two nifty holes-in-one during Sunday’s final round, a 67-million-to-one accomplishment, but even so there was no doubt that it was Trump who ruled the day.
The Nova Southeastern, Lynn University and Barry University men’s golf teams are all ranked in the top five of the Bushnell Golfweek Preseason NCAA Division II Coaches Poll.
Nova Southeastern, the defending national champion, is ranked atop the poll with 16 first-place votes and 472 points. Lynn is second with two first-place votes and 435 points. South Carolina-Aiken is third with 390 points, and Barry is fourth.
Barry is the only team in the top nine with a first-place vote that did not qualify for last year’s match-play quarterfinals. Barry finished 10th at last year’s national championships.