Ernie Els bowed out of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with a neck injury, so he was back home in Florida with some time on his hands. As it turns out, he was available to play golf with President Donald Trump and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s West Palm Beach club.
Els caught some flak from a number of his friends, many of which didn’t support or vote for Trump in the 2016 election. The four-time major winner gave it right back.
“A lot of my own friends were not for him,” Els said to the Wall Street Journal. “They kind of needled me a little bit, saying I was a suck-up. I just said, ‘Go eff yourself. I played with the president and you haven’t.’ You can’t please everybody.”
The South African told the Journal that politics didn’t come up during the round, calling the experience “almost surreal.”
Also, Els didn’t have to go to the pocket, pulling to a draw in a one-on-three match against Trump, Abe and David Trout, Director of Golf at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla.