Australia’s Donald Trump supporters will hope it’s fake news, but the leader of the free world will not be attending the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in December.
For months there has been speculation Mr Trump would make an appearance at the biennial teams event, but foxsports.com.au understands the PGA Tour and Royal Melbourne Golf Club have both been informed he will not make the trip.
Although he has the resources and power to simply change his mind at the last moment, sources have confirmed they don’t expect Mr Trump to do so now. His presence would create significant logistical headaches for organisers and a late decision would only amplify the security risk.
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As recently as one month ago, high-level security personnel believed Mr Trump – an avid golfer himself – would likely attend.
In August, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said Mr Trump was “thinking about” a visit to Melbourne, while local Cheltenham residents were told they should prepare for his arrival.
“He knows he has the invitation and he is thinking about it,” Monahan told reporters.
“He has a very busy schedule; whether or not he could do that.
“(But) he is very curious about both teams and takes a lot of pride in the event, given the experience (he had) in 2017.”
But a week ago, Royal Melbourne and the PGA Tour were informed he would remain in the United States and it would take an almighty backflip for Mr Trump to change his plans now.
Monahan’s invitation follows that of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who asked Trump to attend when they had a private dinner together in June.
Past US Presidents Jimmy Carter, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were also invited, but it’s believed none will attend December’s blockbuster event.
Mr Trump became the first sitting President since Mr Clinton in 2000 to attend during the 2017 tournament at Liberty National in New Jersey. He also became the first President to present the Cup in the tournament’s then 23-year history.
US playing captain Tiger Woods and European star Rory McIlroy have received scrutiny in the past for playing golf with Mr Trump.
A month after Woods won his fifth Masters title earlier this year, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the USA’s highest civilian honour.
The Presidents Cup will be held from December 12-15 and will be the first Presidents Cup to be held at Royal Melbourne since 2011.
Mr Trump is seeking a second term in the 2020 US Presidential Election.