Tuesday 27 September 2016

Poor round of golf fails to dampen Vice President Biden's spirit on Mayo visit

Published 23/06/2016 | 14:27

US Vice President Joe Biden teeing off on the seventeenth at The Castlebar Golf Club as Taoiseach Enda Kenny watches yesterday. Pic Colin O Riordan
US Vice President Joe Biden teeing off on the seventeenth at The Castlebar Golf Club as Taoiseach Enda Kenny watches yesterday. Pic Colin O Riordan
US Vice President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the seventeenth fairway at The Castlebar Golf Club Pic Colin O Riordan
Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured in action on the seventeenth green as he played a round of golf with US Vice President Joe Biden at Castlebar Golf Club yesterday. Pic Colin O Riordan
US Vice President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the seventeenth green at The Castlebar Golf Club . PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
US Vice President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the seventeenth fairway at The Castlebar Golf Club . Pic Colin O Riordan
Jimmy Biden, brother of US Vice President Joe Biden clearing a bunker at Castlebar Golf Club yesterday. Pic Colin O Riordan
US Vice President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the seventeenth fairway at The Castlebar Golf Club . Pic Colin O Riordan
US Vice President Joe Biden teeing off on the seventeenth at The Castlebar Golf Club as Taoiseach Enda Kenny watches
US Vice President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the seventeenth fairway at The Castlebar Golf Club . Photo: Colin O'Riordan
US Vice President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the seventeenth fairway at The Castlebar Golf Club .Photo: Colin O'Riordan

THE golf may not have been going his way but that didn’t seem to put a dampener on Vice President Biden’s trip to his ancestral home of Mayo.

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Mr Biden began the third day of his six day trip to Ireland with 18 holes of golf at the local club of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Joe Biden and his brother Jim played four ball with the Taoiseach at the Castlebar Golf Course where they were joined by club captain Frank Murray.

But despite boasting a single digit handicap, things were certainly not going the way of the Vice President on the 16th hole when he almost hit the water.

“You didn’t tell me about the water hazard,” he quipped as he walked up to retrieve his ball.

Asked how the golf was going he hinted that the rest of the course may also have thrown up some challenges, replying: “It’s going. Fortunately politics is going better.”

The day proved a better one on the course for the Taoiseach, with Enda taking the 16th hole with a par 3 compared to the four shots needed by Mr Biden.

However, as the grouping left the course all were happy to report the game had ended in a draw, with the players halving the match on the 18th.

As the Vice President nipped around the course alongside Enda the pair passed by the Taoiseach’s home which is right across the road from the 13th hole.

“We half expected them to take a spin across in the buggy for a cup of tea,” said one local.

While the American guests were more demurely dressed in navy and cream, the Taoiseach was decked out in a salmon pink polo shirt with cream chinos.

After playing 18 holes at the golf course, Mr Biden marked the occasion by planting a native Mountain Ash tree on the grounds.

The relaxing start to the day followed a busy whistle stop tour of Mayo yesterday, where Mr Biden met with relatives and greeted hundreds of well wishers in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport.

He finished off his first day in Mayo with a musical session in Matt Molloy’s pub in Westport where news of the spectacular Irish win saw Mr Biden and Mr Kenny lead the pub in a rendition of Olé, olé, olé.

After making time for the countless locals who wanted to wish him well, the Vice President didn’t have manage to make his scheduled dinner at An Port Mór restaurant in Westport -but that didn’t stop him nipping across to the popular eatery to enjoy a late night bowl of ice cream in the ally way.

Then it was back to the Mount Falcon hotel in Ballina where Mr Biden and his family spent the night.

After today’s golf game it was back to Dublin for the Vice-President where he has a number of engagements in the coming days  including a trip to Trinity College and Dublin Castle.

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