LPGA golfer walks back comments that Donald Trump 'cheats like hell'

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Trump has played golf with Suzann Pettersen on numerous occasions.  USATSI

Donald Trump's golfing excursions are well-documented, but his game isn't so well-covered. On Jan. 27, a Norwegian newspaper gave people some insight into what playing with Trump was like, with LPGA golfer and friend of Trump's Suzann Pettersen reportedly saying that Trump "cheats like hell." However, Pettersen is now saying that her quote was misrepresented by people looking to "make a headline," while the article's two authors are doubling down on the report.

"He cheats like hell ... so I don't quite know how he is in business," Pettersen reportedly told Verdens Gang. "They say that if you cheat at golf, you cheat at business. I'm pretty sure he pays his caddie well, since no matter how far into the woods he hits the ball, it's in the middle of the fairway when we get there."

Pettersen also told the Norwegian paper that Trump is known for skipping his final putt, just in case he'd have to add a stroke. "Yes, yes, that happens all the time," Pettersen said, per the initial article. "He always says he is the world's best putter. But in all the times I've played him, he's never come close to breaking 80."

Petterson, the former No. 2 women's player in the world, continued, saying: "But what's strange is that every time I talk to him he says he just golfed a 69, or that he set a new course record or won a club championship some place. I just laugh. I'm someone who likes being teased and I like teasing others, and Trump takes it well, and that must be why he likes me."

The article did note throughout that Pettersen said all of this with a lighthearted vibe, often laughing throughout her statements.

However, days after the original piece was put out, Pettersen said that these quotes were taken out of context. She released the following message on her Facebook in response to the full-length article on Tuesday.

Over the last few days, the media has quoted me that I said President Trump "cheats in golf." Not true at all and this...

Posted by Suzann Pettersen on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pettersen also added a tweet which was later deleted, which is where she accused those using the quote of "chasing a headline." The tweet read: "Sometimes you do interviews and media will twist whatever word/ saying to make a headline! It's shocking ... this is what I would call #fakenews

"Why would I call someone a cheat.... never!"

After deleting the tweet, Pettersen tweeted again, redirecting readers to her Facebook post and congratulating Brittany Lincicome on her win at the Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Pettersen didn't clarify if she was saying she never said these things or if her quote was taken out of context. However, her depiction (or at the very least the publication's depiction) of cheating is specific.

The writers of the piece for Verdens Gang stand by their reporting.

"We of course stand by all the quotes in the story," said reporter Robert Simso, Verdens Gang's U.S. correspondent, to golf.com when reached for comment. "I always use a tape recorder in interviews, and this time was no exception."

Trump, who gave his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, has yet to say anything about the story. 

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