ESPN and Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Reilly was on Morning Joe today to talk about his new book, "Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump."
He told an anecdote about Arnold Palmer, who told him he would never go into business with someone unless he played golf with him first.
"I asked why. He said in four hours, you can't hide who you are. If he cheats on the course he'll cheat in business. If he's honest and fun on the course, he'll be honest and fun in business.
"He (Trump) said he won 18 club championships. I'm like, you liar! Because you told me how you did it when I played with you years ago. He said when he buys a new course, he plays the first-round by himself and calls that the club championship," Reilly said.
"So I started calling around. People said yeah. 'One day he was at Trump Philly and we played the Trump championship at Bedminster and he called and asked who won the championship. They said Joe Schmoe shot 76. Trump said, 'I shot 73. Make me the champion.' So now when you walk into the clubhouse, his name is there --instead of Joe Schmoe, it's Trump. The thing that bothers me, okay, golf. Fine. But when he started campaigning on this as, 'I'm a winner, I can close out. I've won 18 club championships against the best players.' That bothered me. I don't know anything about politics. But I know about golf. You can't do that. Ten were super senior championships, which is not the club championship at all."
"Boy, you know, you see tweets from Lindsey Graham who goes out and golfs with him and other Republicans who are just sycophants and said 'really enjoyed a round of golf with President Trump today. President Trump shot a 73 in windy and wet conditions.' Yeah. Now Donald Trump wouldn't shoot a 73, like, on the top of the Rocky Mountains on a par three course," Scarborough said.
"A friend of mine asked me about that day, and he said, 'Yeah, 73. But nobody putted out.' Putting out is the whole game! The PGA senior championship was held at trump D.C. which isn't in D.C. at all. Tom Watson, none of them broke 76 in windy conditions from the same tees. So, who would you rather have, Tom Watson or Donald Trump playing your ball? I mean, the lies are so crazy that it totally colors whatever he says to me about anything else," Reilly said.
Scarborough called it "a window into his soul."
Steve Rattner said, "In that vein you take a guy that's made a billion dollars or more, but seems to think he has to have it be 10 billion. In golf, people say he's not a bad golfer. He can hit the ball a long way, he's pretty good at it. Why can he settle for a decent score? Why does it have to be everything you just said?"
"I don't know. If you go on the index, the PSA, look up his handicap, it's 2.8. It took him eight years to post enough scores to get a handicap? He played 66 times last year. So he's cherry-picking his best rounds to stick in the computer. Why? Everybody who's played with him -- pros, Nicklaus --they all say he's about a nine. Why isn't that good enough?" Reilly said.
"That's my question," Rattner said.
"He couldn't cover that 2.8 without (indecipherable). No way I would play for my house at a 2.8. He's a 10. 10 is good. He has a great follow-through. He can't chip. He either throws it out of the bunker People have told me not only does he throw his ball out of the bunker, he takes balls that are on the green if you're not around and throws yours into the bunker. It's incredible that this guy passes himself off as this great golfer," Reilly said.
"He's a good golfer."