TOKYO — President Trump told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he was delighted he’d be able to play a round of golf with world No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama during a visit to Japan early next month.
The leaders confirmed the round, to be played Nov. 5, on a call from Trump to congratulate Abe on his decisive victory in the general election. The game will take place on the initial day of Trump’s first Asian trip, which will also see him travel to South Korea and China, as well as attend summits in southeast Asia.
Abe is taking a page from his grandfather’s playbook in using golf to form ties with an American leader, with the pair appearing to have used the sport to help cement the two countries’ alliance.
In 1957, then-Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi — Abe’s grandfather and political role model — played a round with President Eisenhower on a course in Maryland. News reports described the game as a “triumph for diplomacy.”
Abe and Trump took to the greens in Florida during Abe’s trip to meet Trump earlier this year.
Matsuyama, 25, has won five times on the PGA Tour.