Saturday 24 March 2018

Obama gives Tiger presidential seal of approval

Karl MacGinty

POLITICAL leaders generally like to associate with sports legends for one reason ... votes.

Yet the boot was very much on the other foot last Sunday when President Barack Obama played a private round of golf with Tiger Woods in Florida.

For a start, the US president, now in his second term, is finished with elections.

Instead, Obama's decision to play 18 holes with Woods lends a presidential seal of approval to Tiger's social rehabilitation after the scandals which sullied his reputation and wrecked his marriage in 2009.

This personal endorsement can only boost Tiger's self-confidence as he tries to fight his way back to the summit of world golf. Well done, Mr President!

Obama spent two days in one of eight private cottages at The Floridian Club.

He worked on his game with top coach Butch Harmon and son Claude during an eight-hour session on Saturday which included 27 holes of golf.

A lefty, he was advised of the benefits of shifting a little more to the right (in the swing) and received valuable tips on how to get out of bunkers.

On Sunday morning, he warmly greeted Woods by saying how much he enjoyed watching him win the recent Farmers Insurance Open before they played 18 holes with resort owner Jim Crane and ambassador Ron Kirk.

They got around in just over four hours, leaving the president time for another nine after Tiger left.

Obama has played 100 rounds of golf since taking office in January 2008. This drew criticism from some but appears frugal alongside the estimated 1,200 rounds played by Woodrow Wilson during his presidency and the 800 by Dwight Eisenhower!

Irish Independent

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