President Trump would like to see "big crowds" flocking to the Masters in November as he outlined his plans to see sport return to normal.
Trump remains confident that fans will be able to return to sporting events sooner than expected provided they can enjoy a safe experience, and he is determined to see Augusta National’s fairways well lined with patrons when the tournament goes ahead in the autumn having been postponed from the spring.
The President conceded that the Masters could expect a smaller number of patrons in attendance than usual, but he is overall determined to get the American sporting landscape back to normality … or as close as he can get.
We want to get sports back. We miss sports, and we need sports, said Trump in a live phone call with NBC’s Mike Tirico during the TaylorMade Driving Relief at Seminole, the fist live golf to be broadcast on Sky Sports for 66 days.
You’re going to have a Masters pretty soon that’ll be a little unusual, that will be slightly less than the usual crowds that you have there. But it’s great to be playing.
And we want to have big crowds for the Masters. I know, right now, that’s not what they’re planning, but you never know what happens. Things can happen very quickly.
The first four events back on the PGA Tour are without fans, but after that it will hopefully be back and we really want to see it get back to normal.
So when you have those tens of thousands of people going to majors, and going to regular golf tournaments, we want them to have that safe experience.
We don’t want them having to wear masks, and to be doing what we’ve been doing for the last number of months. That’s not getting back to normal.
We want to get back to having the big crowds and they’re practically standing on top of each other, and they’re enjoying themselves. But in the meantime they do the social distancing, and they’ve been doing really well.
Trump is a lifelong, regular golfer but admitted he has had no time to dust off the clubs as he has unsurprisingly been very busy dealing with the coronavirus that caused a global shutdown of sport two months ago.
The President did not comment on recent criticism from Rory McIlroy, who hit out at Trump’s lack of leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and hinted he would be unwilling to play golf with him again.
McIlroy told the McKellar Golf Podcast: The fact that he’s trying to politicise it and make it a campaign rally and say that we administer the most tests in the world, like it’s a contest – there’s some stuff that just is terrible.
It’s not the way a leader should act.