Dustin Johnson insists Donald Trump’s presence at LIV Golf is NOT a distraction as he opens up about his ‘beautiful friendship’ with the former president
Dustin Johnson has insisted that the fury and excitement created by Donald Trump’s presence at LIV Bedminster provided no distractions.
Johnson competes in the LIV Golf event at the former New Jersey president’s course as the breakaway circuit plays Trump National Bedminster for the second straight season.
The American pulled himself out of third place after the first round of LIV’s 2023 Season 11 11th tournament on Friday and he did so under the watchful eye of Trump for the first three holes.
The 45th President watched Johnson go on one and followed his group for the first three holes before retiring to the hospitality section of the event.
Johnson revealed it was not the first time he had shared the fairways with the 77-year-old.
Dustin Johnson insisted that Donald Trump’s presence at LIV Golf was not a distraction
The former president stood on the first tee as Johnson and his playing partners set off on Friday
Johnson later revealed that he and Trump had established a ‘beautiful friendship’ over the years
“I’ve known President Trump for a while,” he told reporters after his first round.
“I won Doral when it was over there at Trump. He’s in Palm Beach, so we play a bit of golf together. We’ve had a great friendship over the years.
Crowds gathered around the first tee box to catch a glimpse of Trump as he watched Johnson play alongside last week’s winner Bryson DeChambeau and Henrik Stenson.
The former president greeted supporters in the grandstand and chatted with the professionals before the shotgun went off.
However, Johnson insisted the fanfare and party atmosphere didn’t deter him from performing.
“For me, there are no distractions,” he said when asked if the president’s presence or the music playing affected his state of mind. “The only thing that can distract me is myself.
Trump trailed Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Henrik Stenson for the first three holes
“Whether I’m playing LIV, any major PGA TOUR event, I always feel the same way at the first start just because I want to play well. The nerves, but it’s like the good nerves, just because I want to do well. But yeah, I feel the same every time on the first tee.
He and his team, the 4Aces, won the team event at LIV Bedminster last year and they will be looking to replicate their success again this weekend.
Johnson and Patrick Reed both went into contention with opening rounds of three under 68 to sit tied for third in the standings after the first round.
Their contributions help the team sit three under one behind individual leader Cameron Smith’s Ripper GC.