As millions of Puerto Ricans struggle to recover from Hurricane Maria, President Donald Trump offered a gift of goodwill to the people of Puerto Rico - a golf trophy.

On Sunday Trump made a special stop at the Presidents Cup Golf Tournament to send a message to the Caribbean island.

"We have it under really great control," he said of Puerto Rico.

The United States team defeated the International team in the Presidents Cup for the 7th straight time. Tiger Woods, an American professional golfer, served as Captain's Assistant at the series of matches.

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The teams arrived by walking up the 14th fairway at Liberty National Golf Club.

Internationals arrived first, followed by the US team, to loud cheers and applause and chants of 'USA!'

Trump walked up, waved, and gave the US team a few fist pumps. Then he shook hands with the Internationals on the far side of the green, as a rowdy crowd sang "God Bless America." Fred Couples, a 57-year-old professional golfer, got a presidential hug.

The course is about 30 miles from Trump's own Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump spent most of the weekend there, the MailOnline reported.

Earlier Sunday, Trump dismissed those he calls 'politically motivated ingrates' who've questioned his administration's commitment to rebuilding Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on Friday accused the Trump administration of 'killing us with the inefficiency' after the storm.

Trump, pictured while performing a fist-pumping motion, dedicated the trophy to the people of Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida still recovering from recent hurricane devastation. Photo / Getty
Trump, pictured while performing a fist-pumping motion, dedicated the trophy to the people of Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida still recovering from recent hurricane devastation. Photo / Getty

She begged the president, who is set to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday, to "make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives," and appealed for help "to save us from dying."

She explained in a television interview Sunday that "there's only one goal, and it's saving lives," adding that all she did "was ask for help".

Trump's weekend tweets have shown him to be contemptuous of their complaints of a laggard U.S. response to the natural disaster that has imperiled the island's future.

"We have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico. Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates," he tweeted on Sunday.

He said "people are now starting to recognize the amazing work" done by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military.

And Cruz told 'This Week' on ABC: "I know the good heart of the American people and I know that when a mayday sound goes off, they come to the rescue."

President Donald Trump presented the U.S. team with the trophy after they defeated the international team in the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club. Photo / Getty
President Donald Trump presented the U.S. team with the trophy after they defeated the international team in the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club. Photo / Getty

The day before, Trump had tweeted: "Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help."

He added: "They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort," Trump wrote from his club.

His critical response was an unusually pointed rebuke from the president in the heat of a disaster - a time when leaders often put aside partisan differences in the name of solidarity. But it was a reminder of Trump's unrelenting penchant for punching back against critics, whatever the circumstances.

The Americans won the Presidents Cup for the seventh straight time. With most of the work already done, a dominant U.S. team needed only one point from the 12 singles matches Sunday.

Kevin Chappell halved the first match with Marc Leishman, and victory was assured when Daniel Berger went 3 up with three to play against Si Woo Kim in the fourth match.
Berger wound up winning his match, and the celebration was on.

The last point came from Phil Mickelson, a 47-year-old on an American team that featured six players in their 20s.

Mickelson has played in every Presidents Cup since it began in 1994.

This was his 23rd straight team in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. And in his 100th career match, he beat Adam Hadwin, 2 and 1.

The final score was 19-11.

Trump arrived at Liberty National about 45 minutes before the Americans secured the gold trophy that he was to present to them.

Trump, the honorary chairman of the matches, is the first sitting president to attend on the final day and present the trophy.

The Presidents Cup has been held on a biennial basis alternating between even and odd years since 1994. Since the second cup in 1996, the location of the event has alternated between the United States and an international location; so far, it has been held in Australia, South Africa, Canada and South Korea. This year, it was held in New Jersey for the first time.

- Additional reporting by the NZ Herald