Tiger Woods Joins Golfer-in-Chief Obama at White House

Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama reacts to a missed putt at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts. Close

U.S. President Barack Obama reacts to a missed putt at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.

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Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama reacts to a missed putt at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.

Whatever else is going on in the world, it’s a safe bet that President Barack Obama had golf on his mind when Tiger Woods came for a visit today.

As Woods tells it, the president is nothing if not focused.

During one of his “several” visits to the White House, Woods got a memorable look inside the Oval Office.

“I remember talking to President Obama and he wanted to talk a little bit about some golf and blah, blah, blah. We started talking about sports, and I see these other guys in the other room and they’re immaculately dressed,” Woods told reporters today at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. “I said ‘Mr. President, I should probably go.’ He says ‘I’d like you to meet my joint chiefs.’”

“I felt awful,” Woods said. “I was holding up a joint chiefs of staff meeting because he wanted to talk sports.”

Woods, Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson were on hand to give advice to frequent golfer Obama at a White House reception honoring last year’s Presidents Cup team. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican who is an occasional golfing companion of the president, also took the stage.

Obama, who spends at least one weekend day golfing when the weather allows, played host today for the U.S. team that defeated a group of international competitors in matches last October at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Feeling Old

“We are extraordinarily proud of our Presidents Cup team,” Obama said during the White House ceremony. “I hope the World Cup team takes a page out of their play book when they play Germany on Thursday.”

All members of the U.S. team attended, the PGA Tour said today in an e-mailed statement.

Woods, 38, is in the Washington area to play in the Quicken Loans National this week at Congressional Country Club. He told reporters he feels old after missing more than three months following back surgery and probably wouldn’t play in the tournament if it didn’t benefit his charitable foundation.

Obama was last on the links three days ago when he played the course at Fort Belvoir in Virginia with Sam Kass, his personal chef, and White House aides Marvin Nicholson and Joe Paulsen. All are frequently part of Obama’s foursome.

The day before that outing, Obama hosted New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at the White House where the two world leaders joked about their golf games. They played together in Hawaii while both were on vacation earlier this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Angela Greiling Keane in Washington at agreilingkea@bloomberg.net; Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net Justin Blum, Michael Shepard

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