President Obama may have been unwilling to gloat about winning his much-scrutinized weekend match with Tiger Woods by his side, but the world’s second-best golfer was happy to do so for him.
“He was my partner and we won,” Woods boasted to reporters on Tuesday ahead of this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Woods, who’ll make a return to competitive golf after a three-and-a-half-week layoff, joked about how he happened to join Obama on Sunday for a friendly round at Floridian National Golf Club but he was serious about the First Duffer’s skills, especially his short game.
“He hit a few [good shots],” Woods said. “He’s a pretty good athlete. We all know he plays a lot of hoop and I had kind of forgotten he’s a lefty. But to see him out there hitting shots....He hit the ball well and has got amazing touch. He can certainly chip and putt.”
Echoing comments from Jim Crane, Sunday’s host who also owns the Floridian as well as the Houston Astros, Woods said that Obama could take his game to the next level with a bit more practice.
“After these four years, if he spends more time playing the game of golf, I’m sure he can get to where he’s a pretty good stick,” Woods said.
"He played pretty good," Crane told Fox 26 Houston on Sunday. "He made a bunch of pars. I don't think he made a birdie. He putts the ball well. He strikes it well. I think if he had a little time, which we probably don’t want him doing right now, he'd probably get pretty proficient at it."
As for the chance to play with Obama, Woods had some fun with media members gathered at Dove Mountain outside Tucson.
“He calls me up and says, ‘Hey, Tiger, you want to play?’” he said with a straight face before breaking into laughter.
After a scribe retorted, “He does not,” Woods came clean.
“Okay, obviously there is a process that’s involved and I was invited to play,” said Woods. “It was an invitation that certainly you don’t turn down.
“He’s an avid golfer and so am I,” Woods added. “We went out there and had a great round of golf....It was a good day.”
About pace of play -- a hot button issue this year and every other on the PGA Tour -- Woods said you won’t see POTUS clogging up the fairways the way some players do (ahem, Ben Crane and Kevin Na).
“He’s quick,” Woods said.