President Donald Trump could overshadow US Women's Open

The possible presence of President Donald Trump is threatening to overshadow the US Women's Open, with players and officials intent on dodging questions about their host for the week.

Golf's most influential organisations had distanced themselves from Trump in the wake of his views on Mexican immigrants, which were expressed when he announced his decision to stand for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in June 2015.

The Grand Slam of Golf was moved from Trump National in Los Angeles in October, while the PGA Tour began considering alternative venues for the WGC-Cadillac Championship after his call for a ''total and complete'' ban on Muslims entering America following terrorist attacks.

The PGA Tour had a contract to hold the WGC event at Trump National Doral until 2023, but with the provision that a new title sponsor would have the right to take the tournament elsewhere.

Donald Trump. File image.
Donald Trump. File image.

Cadillac's sponsorship ended in 2016 and Grupo Salinas subsequently signed a seven-year deal, with the event renamed the WGC-Mexico Championship and moved to Mexico City.

However, despite well-publicised lewd comments Trump has made about women, the US Women's Open will go ahead at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey this week.

United States Golf Association (USGA) executive director Mike Davis said in May the organisation would not "cross the line into politics."

Speaking on Tuesday, championship director Matt Sawicki said the USGA was not certain President Trump would attend the championship, adding: "The only thing we know about the President's schedule is that he plans on attending a Bastille Day celebration in France on Friday.

"Beyond that we have not been told."

Asked if Trump's presence would overshadow the event, Sawicki added: "There is a long association between the offices of the President and the game of golf.

"It is one in which many Presidents have had a passion for the game. And ultimately we think that when the President supports the game of golf, that's a good thing."

American Brittany Lincicome said two weeks ago she hoped Trump would not appear at the event and cause a "big debacle", but most players were keen to avoid the subject.

Former champion Michelle Wie insisted "This week is about the golf, " while world number four Lydia Ko added: "I'm excited to play the US Women's Open and not think of it in a political way."

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