Donald Trump first sitting president to present Presidents Cup trophy

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- For the first time in the history of the tournament, a sitting president presented the trophy to the winning team at the Presidents Cup.

President Trump arrived at Liberty National via motorcade on Sunday afternoon and was able to watch the end of the competition from a luxury suite near the 14th green alongside PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and his predecessor, Tim Finchem.

Trump, an avid golfer who was staying at his New Jersey golf club in Bedminster for the weekend, joined players and officials from both teams for the trophy ceremony on the 14th green. He dedicated the trophy to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

"I've been watching this from the beginning, and I have to say, our Team USA, wow, did you play well,'' said Trump, noting the 19-11 victory over an International team of golfers.

He then summoned U.S. captain Steve Stricker to take the trophy by referring to him as "that great putter. I've been copying his putting stroke for many, many years. But it hasn't worked.''

Trump mingled with several of the players from both teams and praised the effort of the International side. In the months prior to his inauguration and just after, he played golf at one of his clubs with U.S. assistant captain Tiger Woods and another time with International assistant Ernie Els. Trump also played a round with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, who is not eligible for the Presidents Cup, as Europe is excluded.

"I thought it was a great thrill,'' Stricker said. "A lot of us have either met or played with the president, and I know some of these guys live down in the same area where he comes down and plays.

"I thought it was a great opportunity for us to be with him. And this tournament is about respecting the office, respecting the president of the United States, and 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.''

Stricker said later that he would be open to the idea of visiting the White House, if asked, and that he would leave it up to team members if they wanted to attend.

The only other time a sitting president attended the Presidents Cup was in 1996, when President Bill Clinton was on hand as Arnold Palmer captained the team to victory at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia.

Clinton joined former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama at the opening of the Presidents Cup on Thursday.