President Donald Trump once claimed there are “very few people” who can beat him at golf. Apparently, that even applies to actual golf tournament winners.
According to Golf Magazine, a shiny, new plaque has mysteriously appeared on the president’s locker at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, dubbing him the “2018 Men’s Club Champion.”
But Trump reportedly didn’t play in that year’s club championship tournament.
The explanation for the locker plaque goes like this, according to the magazine, which cited unnamed sources:
The winner of the club championship was Ted Virtue, an avid golfer and the head of MidOcean Partners, a New York-based investment company.
Trump later bumped into Virtue at the club, and claimed the only reason Virtue won is because Trump didn’t get the chance to play because of his burden of manning the White House.
Trump, by the way, spent 173 of his 781 days in office at his golf properties, according to NBC News, which has been keeping count. That’s more than 20 percent of his presidency.
Virtue agreed to give Trump a shot at the championship title with a nine-hole face-off. Trump won the challenge. Rather than claim the club champion title outright, Trump reportedly told Virtue they could be co-champions.
Whether Trump’s match with Virtue was fair isn’t clear. Though people who have played golf with Trump acknowledge he is good at the game, he has often been accused of cheating. A 2015 Washington Post investigation quoted a sportswriter who said Trump made up scores, moved balls and claimed chip-shot gimmes ― a golf cheater the sportswriter ranked as “an 11 on a scale of one to 10.”
Former Sports Illustrated managing editor Mark Mulvoy told the Post that when he played Trump at a Long Island City club in the mid-1990s, the two took a pause from their game during a rainstorm. When they headed back out, Mulvoy noticed Trump’s ball appeared closer to the hole than it was before the shower.
Trump responded by arguing that cheating was necessary “to keep up,” since “the guys I play with cheat all the time,” Mulvoy said.
Trump has flatly denied the accounts.
Even rock star Alice Cooper has accused the president of pulling a fast one on the green, suggesting to Q Magazine in a 2012 interview that Trump was “the worst celebrity golf cheat.”
“I don’t think you ever want to play golf with someone who might run for president,” Cooper joked back then, adding that politicians have a knack for “lucky bounces.”