clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Donald Trump upstages Women’s British Open at Turnberry

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Lydia Ko put the finishing touches on an opening 6-under 66 to take Thursday’s early clubhouse lead at the Women’s British Open, just as Donald Trump’s chopper touched down outside the Trump Turnberry Hotel.

There were more reporters awaiting the arrival of the bombastic Republican presidential candidate and owner of the site of this week’s women’s major championship than were inside the gates, according to Golf Channel’s Randall Mell.

That’s pretty much how it’s going to go this week as Trump met the press on Thursday morning while Ko seeks her first major title. Meanwhile, Inbee Park will try to stave off a Ko run and retain the world No. 1 ranking, and Michelle Wie hopes to overcome injuries to compete for her second career major trophy.

Good luck, ladies.

In the wake of his controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants and golf’s leading bodies verbally distancing themselves from his racist remarks, Trump was scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. ET convo with golf media that was supposed to focus strictly on golf, according to Ron Sirak. The billionaire, who acquired the Turnberry resort in April last year and thereby inherited the 2015 Women’s British Open, had yet to take the podium before such ground rules were tossed. Reporters (presumably those without tourney credentials) yelled queries at the real estate mogul as he exited his helicopter.

The women are teeing it up at on a Trump track after LPGA commissioner Mike Whan slammed Trump for his words three weeks ago because organizers of the event did not have time to change venues. And while Trump blasted Whan in a public letter, several of the women playing this week chose not to make waves.

"I’m extremely honored to be here at Turnberry," Wie said earlier in the week. "I think I made that very clear. There’s a lot of things that happen beyond our control, beyond what I can do, what you can do and what I can control this week is how I play and I’m just really excited to be here ... I’m just going to let them (the powers that be) handle it and let them do their thing and I’m just going to focus on me doing my thing."

One contestant in this week’s tilt, who was similarly tactful but proud to remind readers of her lineage as the daughter of Mexican immigrants, a class of people Trump accused of "bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists," was Lizette Salas.

"Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but, his words, a lot of people listen to him and hear him because he’s a big name," Salas told the Telegraph’s James Corrigan. "I’m proud of my heritage, proud of where I come from, not ashamed of being born of Mexican immigrants. But that’s a whole other subject. My goal this week is to win. ... He can say what he wants. Everyone can. It does not change the way I feel about myself, about my heritage at all."

Trump, who fancies himself the savior of women’s golf, had no idea who Salas was.

With the afternoon wave just getting under way, Salas opened with a 72 to sit in a T42 logjam at even-par, seven shots back of Hyo Joo Kim, whose flawless round bettered Ko’s one-bogey, seven-birdie day by one stroke.