The golfer who once called President Donald Trump the second-best president he has golfed with played a round Monday with the president at his Bedminster, N.J., club.
‘‘I’m proud to be an AMERICAN, especially w/this man leading our country!’’ John Daly tweeted, sharing a photo taken with the president on the Trump National course. ‘‘One of the greatest days of my life! Thx you for a great day #potus #dad ....you are the best! @realDonaldTrump #americafirst #peoplefirst #greatest #leader #of #our #country #proud #American #MAGA’’
Trump tweeted back at him Tuesday morning, writing, ‘‘Thank you John, you are a special guy!’’
Daly, who has golfed with Trump before and visited him in the Oval Office, hit the links Monday in a pair of stars-and-stripes shorts. Although a recent book and reports state that the president cheats at the game, Daly has said that doesn’t happen when they play — for a very good reason.
‘‘He really doesn’t keep score when I play with him,’’ Daly said last year. ‘‘We go out and have a good time. We just talk about family and stuff like that. We don’t talk politics.
‘‘We don’t even talk golf. We just go out and have a good time. Every time I played with him — even when I played with [George W.] Bush, it wasn’t even about that, it was just going out and having a good time and seeing how the family’s doing and just having a relaxed day.
“That’s what they need. It’s kind of what I need sometimes.’’
I’m proud to be an AMERICAN, especially w/this man leading our country! One of the greatest days of my life! Thx you for a great day #potus #dad ....you are the best! @realDonaldTrump— John Daly (@PGA_JohnDaly) August 13, 2019
💯🚂🇺🇸🚂🇺🇸#americafirst #peoplefirst #greatest #leader #of #our #country #proud #American #MAGA pic.twitter.com/u7hu9vkcUF
Daly, one of golf’s most colorful and popular players for his Everyman look and approach to the game, has golfed with several presidents.
‘‘[Bill] Clinton couldn’t play at all — Clinton was Mr. Mulligan — but I think Bush Sr. [George H.W. Bush] was probably the best that I played with,’’ he said last year. ‘‘[George W.] Bush was OK, just not quite as good as [his father] was.’’
In a 2016 interview on ‘‘The Rich Eisen Show,’’ Daly rated Clinton the shiftier player, saying that Trump will ‘‘actually finish a hole and write a score down.’’ Clinton would finish a hole, with Daly paraphrasing, ‘‘’Oh, I think that was a par.’ You can’t hit seven shots and say it’s a par. You just can’t do that.’’
Like Trump, Daly, 53, uses a cart when he plays, and in May, he was granted a medical exemption to play in the PGA Championship, for which he was eligible as a former winner. The PGA of America allowed the exemption under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
‘‘My knee is screwed,’’ he said in May. ‘‘I had the meniscus cut out. I have osteoarthritis so bad . . . I can walk up a hill, I just can’t walk down one.’’
Long one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the sports world, Daly backed him from the start of his presidential campaign.
‘‘I’ve known Donald forever, and I know the bad things they say about Donald Trump is not true because I’ve known him as a friend for so long,’’ Daly said in the spring of 2016. ‘‘I’ve seen what he’s done for all types of people. I know how many people call him a racist and all this, and it just makes me sick because he’s not.
‘‘[I’ve] known him too long. I’ve seen what he does with kids, I know what he does with charities. The thing I love about Donald, it’s time this country is run by a businessman and not people with their hands out, and Donald doesn’t have his hands out.
‘‘I not only consider him as a friend, but if people get to know Donald Trump, I think they’ll know what I’m talking about. He’s one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met in my life. I love him as a dear friend, and you’re dang right he’ll get my vote.’’