Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

President Donald Trump exits a glass enclosure after watching the tournament from there for almost four hours. Chris Pedota/NorthJersey.com

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President Donald Trump in his enclosure where he watched the golf tournament at Trump National Golf Course.(Photo: Chris Pedota/NorthJersey.com)

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From the brief appearance of a fighter jet overhead to White House Press corps speculation about President Donald Trump's choice of condiment on his French fries to mild bickering between golf die-hards and Trump worshippers, Saturday's U.S. Women's Open proved to be a second consecutive day of sometimes surreal activity.

The third round of the tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster – the biggest in women's golf with a $900,000 winner's check scheduled to be awarded on Sunday – was going along smoothly as of lunchtime. The one offbeat scene early on was the dozens of spectators who put their backs to the 15th green so they could stare into an empty glass-enclosed structure that Trump had visited on Friday.

At just before 2:30 pm., that all changed.

Trump – with his motorcade changing its arrival route from Friday – was driven in an SUV on a cart path along the 15th fairway.

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Trump's SUV stopped near the structure, and Secret Service agents came around to open the door.

Some fans gasped when Trump emerged, wearing a suit, white button-down shirt (but no tie) and his quintessential red "Make America Great Again" hat.

"We love you, Mr. President," one man shouted repeatedly.

img itemprop="url" src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/39d579b5055c80d79814e7d73507f835a8628444/c=30-0-994-725&r=x408&c=540x405/local/-/media/2017/07/15/Bergen/NorthJersey/636357422011204301-Trumpbox.jpg" alt="Spectators wave to President Trump - who waved back" width="540" height="405" data-mycapture-src="" data-mycapture-sm-src=""">>

Spectators wave to President Trump - who waved back - during Saturday's third round of the U.S. Women's Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J/ (Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump took his time climbing the stairs to his temporary viewing stand and waved at fans on the clubhouse veranda.

Trump asked the fans about "the scores" for the day, raising his voice a second time to be heard. But the fans, who had been kept about 40 yards away, were not able to reply before he entered the box. 

Just over an hour later, observant spectators noticed a curious sight that if it had lasted any longer would have been alarming. A fighter jet and a helicopter appeared to be speeding toward a small plane flying overhead in spite of a near-blanket no-fly zone over the Bedminster area all weekend. But the jet and the copter quickly dispersed.

The tail number on the plane was quickly tracked to Fox Sports, which is broadcasting the tournament, and the plane remained on site after the incident.

Cristie Kerr, who is tied for eighth at 4 under par to lead all American players, was on the 11th hole when she noticed the “aerial show.

“A little plane ventured into air space they weren't supposed to be in, and they chased them right out,” said an unfazed Kerr. “Kind of cool to see. It wasn't distracting.”

The White House pool reporter seemed to struggle to adjust to a scenario unusual even for Trump's highly unorthodox presidency. Of the skybox, the reporter wrote, "If you're having trouble picturing it, imagine a giant fish tank."

"It appears that POTUS was snacking on French fries with ketchup – but your pooler can't be 100 percent sure," the pool reporter wrote, using the abbreviation for president of the United States.

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These are some of the prices for popular merchandise items at Trump National Bedminster Golf Club for the U.S. Women's Open. John Brennan/NorthJersey.com

The staying power of the Trump acolytes near the skybox frustrated some golf fans and tournament officials, as they erupted in cheers whenever Trump made one of his intermittent strides toward the window to offer waves and thumbs-ups to his followers. The main issue was that the cheers would erupt regardless of whether a player was putting out on the 15th green or about to hit off the 16th tee.

"One woman stomped by saying she wanted to lift a finger at the box," according to the pool report, which confirmed her anger at Trump. The woman declined to give her name.

After arriving in his viewing box, Trump met with Norwegian golfer Suzann Pettersen for about 10 minutes, according to the pool report, which also noted that he gave Pettersen a blue "Make America Great Again" hat. She held the hat up, and the crowd outside cheered. He kissed Pettersen on both cheeks as an initial greeting. 

Rising star Lexi Thompson and fellow Americans Paula Creamer and Kerr were among others spotted in the box later in the afternoon. Trump's longtime economic support for women's golf has seemed to override whatever concerns the players may have had over revelations last year of vulgar comments toward women made by Trump. Those comments were made in what Trump perceived as a private setting in 2005.

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American golfers Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis react after President Donald Trump arrived at the U.S. Women's Open on Friday, July 14, 2017, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. Andy Vasquez/NorthJersey.com

Thompson, who said she had played golf with Trump several times, was asked if she felt more nervous due to the president’s presence.

“I don't feel extra pressure at all,” Thompson said after her round. “This is his golf course. It's cool to have the president of the United States here.”

After just under four hours of entertaining and golf-watching, Trump left behind dozens of guests as well as his son Eric – and also a crowd of fans who quickly departed the area as he left.

POTUS exited the viewing stand at 6:19 pm and got into a black SUV. He waved to the crowd, but didn't say anything.

South Koreans have become ubiquitous on the LPGA Tour, owning 24 of the top 50 spots in the world rankings. Saturday was no different, as eight of the top 11 players on the leaderboard as of day's end hail from that country. The third-round leader, however – after making 17 consecutive pars before making birdie on the 18th hole to get to 9-under par – was Shanshan Feng of China.

img itemprop="url" src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/a2e2d65c7e0f1816ac5a13b407a5046ba485b4b9/c=58-0-966-683&r=x408&c=540x405/local/-/media/2017/07/15/Bergen/NorthJersey/636357418357481459-shanshan.jpg" alt="Shanshan Feng of China has the lead after three rounds" width="540" height="405" data-mycapture-src="" data-mycapture-sm-src=""">>

Shanshan Feng of China has the lead after three rounds of the U.S. Women's Open at Trump National Bedminster Golf Club. (Photo: yle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Wayne Hills High School graduate Marina Alex, 28, bounced back from a horrific start –5-over par on the first six holes – to birdie four of the last 11 holes. That allowed her to finish at 2 under par for the tournament so far, good for a tie for 17th place. 

Alex's career-best finish in a U.S. Open is 20th place in 2015.

Staff Writer Andy Vasquez contributed to this story.

Source : http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2017/07/15/another-hectic-day-president-trump-returns-u-s-womens-open-his-golf-course/482180001/

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Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Source:NorthJersey.com

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Source:Washington Post

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

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Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

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Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

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Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

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Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

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Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

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Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course

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Another Hectic Day As President Trump Returns To The U.S. Women\'s Open At His Golf Course