Jersey City (United States) (AFP) – Steve Stricker, captain of the victorious US Presidents Cup team, Sunday called it “a thrill” to receive the trophy from American President Donald Trump.
After another lopsided American win in the lopsided rivalry with the International team, Trump was on hand at Liberty National Golf Club to present the hardware.
“I thought it was a great thrill,” Stricker said. “I thought it was a great opportunity for us to be with him.”
Trump spent Sunday morning at his golf resort in Bedminster before making the hop to Liberty National in nearby Jersey City.
His trip to New Jersey came amid a backlash against his Twitter criticism of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, following her pleas for more help in the relief efforts in storm-battered Puerto Rico.
In presenting the trophy, Trump said he dedicated it those suffering the effects of hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
“I want to just remember them and we are going to dedicate this trophy to all of those people that went through so much,” he said.
Trump has stirred up controversy in the sports world with his bitter criticism of professional athletes, especially in the NFL, who decline to stand during the national anthem as a gesture of social protest.
Earlier this week Stricker said he and his players discussed the issue and opted against any kind of demonstration when the tournament opened on Thursday.
And he said receiving the trophy from the sitting president was an honor, regardless of one’s political views.
“This tournament is about respecting the office, respecting the president of the United States,” Stricker said.
“Whether your views may be one way versus another, that wasn’t what it was about there on the green.
“It was about us getting together as a team, playing for one another, playing for the USA — and it was a great thrill for all of us to get the trophy handed to us from him.”