Tiger gets round with Obama, awaits Match Play
TribLIVE Sports Videos
MARANA, Ariz. — Tiger Woods delivered a “State of the Game” on President Barack Obama's golfing prowess, and the news wasn't all bad.
“If he ever spent — after these four years — spent more time playing the game of golf, I'm sure he could get to where he's a pretty good stick,” Woods said Wednesday.
Woods comes into the Match Play Championship on somewhat of a winning streak.
While he revealed very few details about his Sunday round with Obama at The Floridian, he at least made sure everyone knew that they won.
The competition picks up at Dove Mountain, where the first World Golf Championship of the year starts Wednesday in what might be frigid weather.
Instead of having President Obama as his partner against Houston Astros owner Jim Crane and outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the second-seeded Woods opens this fickle tournament against Charles Howell III in a match that takes both of them back to their youth.
The last time they faced each other in this format, Woods beat Howell in the quarterfinals of the 1996 U.S. Amateur.
Woods is the only three-time winner of the Match Play Championship, though he hasn't advanced out of the second round since he last won this event in 2008. The names in the field have changed over the years. The strategy has not.
“The whole idea is just to beat one guy at a time,” Woods said. “That's the thing. There are times where I've played well in matches and I've lost, and other times where I've played poorly and advanced.
“It's imperative to get off to a quick start and get up on your opponent early. It's just so hard to come back 18-hole matches, and hopefully, I can do that conceivably for all six.”
Rory McIlroy is the No. 1 seed and will play Shane Lowry, a longtime friend and former partner on the Irish team that won the European Team Championships in 2007. In a similar match, former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland) plays three-time major champion Padraig Harrington (Ireland).
The toughest challenge might be the weather, with a front expected to move across the high desert overnight and bringing temperatures so low that light snow is possible. At best, it figures to be frigid for the morning matches as the sun is beginning to climb over The Ritz-Carlton Club at Dove Mountain.
“No one likes to play in adverse weather,” said Ian Poulter, playing for first time since Hawaii, when the tournament took four days to start because of 40 mph wind.
Woods said he would be used to the wind and cold because that's what he dealt with in Florida with the president.
It was the second time Woods has played with a sitting U.S. president — he once played with former President Bill Clinton at The Alotian Club in Arkansas.
Woods sounded surprised to learn that Obama played left-handed, and when asked to describe the president's best shot, Woods said that “he hit a few.”
“He's a pretty good athlete, and we all know he played a lot of hoops,” Woods said. “He hit it well, and we didn't play under the easiest conditions.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: After reinterpreting rule, draft pick sought for Bylsma’s hiring
- Dormont man missing since Wednesday found dead at Station Square
- Belle Vernon scores 4 runs in wild 7th inning to capture WPIAL title
- Sabres hire Bylsma as coach; Penguins receive 3rd-round pick
- NFL notebook: Broncos left tackle Clady tears ACL, likely out for season
- Police: Man riding bike in New Kensington strikes truck, dies
- Pirates’ Morton hopes he’s past injury-riddled part of career
- Gorman: Team Dugan gets gold, like a champ
- Pyrotechnics to be used in TV filming in New Kensington
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers