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President Obama & Tiger Tee It Up in Florida
Everyone knows that U.S. President Barack Obama loves golf. Now we also have learned that he's fulfilled a dream of every hacker in the world: Playing a round with Tiger Woods.
Though the White House prohibited any media coverage of Obama's golf outing - one of several he's enjoyed while "bach'ing it" over the three-day Presidents Day weekend, several sources confirmed that America's leader teed it up on Sunday with the No. 2-ranked player in the world at the Floridian, an exclusive club in Florida.
In addition to Woods, Obama's group included the owner of the Floridian, Jim Crane, and outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, a former mayor of Dallas. Obama spent the long weekend at the club in Palm City.
On Saturday Obama played 27 holes and spent time with Woods' former swing instructor, Butch Harmon. After playing 18 on Sunday with Woods, Obama went another nine holes.
"Just to see the interaction between (Obama and Woods) on the range was pretty neat," Harmon told Golf Digest. "The President said to Tiger, `The last tournament you played was fun to watch. It's good to see you play well again.' You could tell he meant it. It just wasn't a throw-it-out compliment."
Veteran golf journalist Tim Rosaforte confirmed the get-together: "The president is arriving at the Floridian range. Awaiting is Tiger Woods and club owner Jim Crane. Historic day in golf. Their first round."
Woods and Obama first met in January 2009 during Obama's inauguration in Washington D.C. Four months later, Woods came to the White House and Obama visited with him in the Oval Office.
The two stayed apart after Woods' car accident and his marital improprieties came to light later in 2009. When Woods announced he was coming out of a self-imposed exile following that public embarrassment, Obama told Fox News Channel that Woods will still be a "terrific" golfer despite his personal issues.
Several reporters were at the Floridian but weren't allowed onto the club's grounds nor allowed to conduct interviews. That feeling of being "locked out" was met with an irritated reaction.
"A broad cross-section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the president of the United States this entire weekend," said Ed Henry in a statement; Henry is a Fox News correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents' Association. "There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest Josh Earnest responded: "The press access granted by the White House today is entirely consistent with the press access offered for previous presidential golf outings. It's also consistent with the press access promised to the White House Press Corps prior to arrival in Florida on Friday evening."
While Obama has been in Florida playing golf, his wife and daughters were skiing out West. Obama was due to arrive back in Washington D.C. Monday night.