Ernie Els thrilled with opportunity to play golf with President Trump

Ernie Els is not easily impressed. He is a man who has seen most (if not all) of the world in a three-decade career that has included four major wins and nearly 100 wins worldwide. He has started foundations and has his own wine company. But none of that precludes him from being swept up in the hoopla of playing golf with a sitting United States President.

Els was invited by President Donald Trump to accompany him and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a round at Trump National Golf Club after Els withdrew from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with a neck injury. Els obliged.

“It was one of the most special groups of people I’ve been around,” Els told Golf Channel. “I played with the queen of Malaysia, I’ve played with other presidents, but this is the most powerful guy in the whole world and to see him in his full security detail, it’s impressive.

“It would have been like a buddy back then, but it’s all about the President of the United States,” Els continued. “I was all about, ‘Mr. President’ and ‘sir’ and all of that. I wanted to use that protocol because that’s what a man in that position deserves.”

Els went on to note that Trump has always been kind to him when it comes to his foundation. Els is playing the Genesis Open this week at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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