President Barack Obama is scheduled to return to Washington today after he wraps up a three-day golf vacation that included rounds with Tiger Woods, business leaders, campaign donors and a top-ranked coach.
Woods, who is working to rebuild his legacy after a 2009 scandal over extramarital affairs derailed his career, yesterday joined the president, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Jim Crane, an Obama supporter who owns the exclusive Florida course where they played, said White House spokeswoman Josh Earnest.
The White House didn’t release the names of Obama’s playing partners ahead of the round. Nor did officials allow reporters or photographers traveling with the president to enter the clubhouse or course at the Floridian National Golf Club in Palm City, Florida.
The White House confirmed that Woods was golfing with Obama hours after Tim Rosaforte, a correspondent for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel, said via the social networking site Twitter that Woods was awaiting Obama’s arrival at the club and that duo’s first round together would mark a “historic day in golf.”
Golf Digest, in a report on its website, said that Butch Harmon, who created the club’s instructional facility and is Woods’ former coach, was also on the tee with Obama and Woods.
“The last tournament you played was fun to watch,” Obama told Woods, Golf Digest reported, citing Harmon. “It’s good to see you play well again.” The White House didn’t confirm Obama’s reported remarks.
Woods, the No. 2 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, holds 14 major titles and opened his U.S. PGA Tour season last month with his seventh win at the Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, California.
The Floridian National Golf Club, with a course designed by Tom Fazio, is owned by Crane, 59, who also owns the Houston Astros baseball team and has donated and raised funds for Obama’s campaigns.