Donald Trump has claimed he hit a hole-in-one on his Florida golf course while playing with former world number 1 Ernie Els.
Former president freed a long statement about the shooting, which allegedly took place on Saturday, Monday evening.
Earlier, a federal judge said Trump likely committed crimes during his attempts to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden. Also on Monday, the House Jan. 6 committee recommended criminal contempt charges against two aides, Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro.
If the ensuing hole-in-one statement was intended to change the conversation, it was not Trump’s first such ploy.
It was, however, slightly less dramatic than his decision last week, when a prosecutor who resigned from an investigation into Trump’s business dealings said he believed the former president had committed “numerous” crimes.
Trump followed that up with a 108-page lawsuit alleging a vast conspiracy to delegitimize his presidency, led by Hillary Clinton.
In his statement on Monday, Trump said: “A lot of people ask, so I’m going to give it to you now, it’s 100% true. Playing with legendary golfer, Ernie Els, winner of four major tournaments and about 72 other tournaments around the world, Gene Sauers, winner of the US Open senior, Ken Duke and Mike Goodes, both excellent players on the circuit, I made a hole-one.”
Trump said he scored his hole-in-one on the 7th par three at Trump International, West Palm Beach. He said there was both a “light wind” and a “pretty strong wind”, as he hit a five iron. The ball, he said, “bounced twice and then rattled in the hole.
“These great players on the tour noticed it before me because their eyes are slightly better, but on this one hole only, their swings weren’t.”
A video accompanied the statement. It showed Trump taking a bullet out of the hole, but not the shot he said he put it there.
Referring to Trump’s status as the 45th president, Els tweeted: “Great shot on Saturday 45! Fun to watch the ball roll for a hole in one.
It has been widely reported that Trump cheated at golf. In 2019 golf writer Rick Reilly published a book, Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.
In addition to reporting routine rule violations, with sources including PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon and actor Samuel L Jackson, Reilly wrote about Trump’s habit of claiming questionable exploits.
“Donald Trump’s boast of winning 18 club championships,” Reilly wrote, “is a lie that is so overblown in Crazytown that it loses all credibility with golfers the second it comes out of its mouth.”
Reilly also wrote that Trump International in West Palm Beach, Florida, now the site of Trump’s claimed hole-in-one, “has a plaque on the wall that lists all the men who have won the Men’s Club Championship. Trump appears three times: 1999, 2001 and 2009. But wait. The course wasn’t even open in 1999.”
Reilly also looked into Trump’s claim to have a 2.8 handicap. The man generally considered the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, plays 3.4. In the words of Reilly: “If Trump is a 2.8, Queen Elizabeth is a pole vaulter.
On Monday, Trump’s hole-in-one claim was met with widespread disbelief – and many comparisons to the famous tale of Kim Jong-il, a North Korean dictator who claimed to have pulled off 11 holes-in-one. in his very first round.
Responding to Trump’s statement, Washington Post reporter Philip Bump spoke for a lot.
“After almost seven years in the public eye,” Bump wrote“Donald Trump has somehow managed to surpass Donald-Trump himself.”