Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

Suzann Pettersen, with 15 LPGA Tour wins to her name, is also a good friend of Donald Trump. Has been for a decade. So when she talks about him being an inveterate cheater at golf, understand that she’s painting just about the most sympathetic picture possible of his game.

Pettersen spoke to Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang:

“[I]n all the times I’ve played him, he’s never come close to breaking 80,” Pettersen says of the president, who golfs with a 3 handicap.

“But what’s strange is that every time I talk to him he says he just golfed a 69, or that he set a new course record or won a club championship some place.”

How does Trump do it?

“I’m pretty sure he pays his caddie well, since no matter how far into the woods he hits the ball, it’s in the middle of the fairway when we get there,” says Pettersen.

Pettersen also brings up Trump’s well-known habit of taking gimmes, no matter how long the putt. In fact, it’s entirely possible Trump has never actually sunk a putt in his life (or, according his scorecard, ever two-putted).

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Pettersen laughs this all off, but she does cite the old chestnut about golf being a window into a person’s soul. “He cheats like hell,” she said of Trump. “So I don’t quite know how he is in business. They say that if you cheat at golf, you cheat at business.” And maybe at other things too?

[Verdens Gang, via Golf.com]