Obama golfs with Tiger Woods, shuts out White House press corps

McClatchy NewspapersFebruary 17, 2013 

The White House press corps that follows President Obama's every move has been barred from seeing or snapping a photograph of the president golfing with Tiger Woods.

A reporter, Tim Rosaforte, since Sunday morning was tweeting and talking on the Golf Channel about the game from inside the compound. But it took until 1:45 p.m for the White House to confirm to the White House pool that Obama had been hitting the links with Woods inside the Floridian in Florida.

That word from principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest: "The President played golf today with USTR Ron Kirk, Jim Crane and Tiger Woods."

The White House pool reporter says it asked for access to the president's game for a photo-op, "like this administration and previous ones have granted in the past," but the pooler says "we were told that we were free to travel to the Floridian but wouldn't get access to POTUS."

By the late afternoon, the White House pool was holding outside the compound.

Obama, who is spending the three-day Presidents Day weekend golfing, played on Saturday with the departing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk; Dr. Eric Whitaker, a longtime Chicago friend of Obama's; Tony Chase, a Houston lawyer and fellow Harvard Law alum who raised money for POTUS during the campaign; Jim Crane, a Houston businessman who owns both the Houston Astros and since 2010,the Floridian; and Milton Carroll, a Houston businessman and chairman of CenterPoint Energy, which is described as a public utility holding company. Carroll has given money to Obama's campaigns.

Earnest told reporters that Butch Harmon, Tiger Wood's former swing coach, accompanied the group for several holes and provided tips along the way - "not that any of the group necessarily needed any," the White House pool reported.

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