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Presidents Cup team at the White House

June 25, 2014

President Barack Obama and his most famous golf partner, Tiger Woods, got together again Tuesday, but at the White House instead of on the course.

Obama honored a team of American golfers who last year defeated an international team to win their fifth straight Presidents Cup, a victory that was clinched by Woods.

''Now last year was the second time I've been honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup. The United States won both times. I'm just saying,'' Obama quipped during the East Room ceremony as he stood in front of three rows of golfers from both teams, including Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. All were unusually dressed in suits and ties.

''I'm not used to seeing these guys in suits,'' Obama cracked.

Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner also were on stage with Obama, who introduced them as ''two of my favorite golf partners'' though he rarely includes either one in his foursomes.

Obama said he was extraordinarily proud of the Presidents Cup team, including for its contributions to charity. He said he hoped the team's good fortune would somehow help another sports team whose fate has transfixed America. The U.S. soccer team faces possible elimination in its next World Cup match later this week.

''We hope our World Cup team takes a page out of their playbook when they take on Germany this Thursday,'' Obama said.

The Presidents Cup is held every two years between the U.S. and an international team. The 2015 tournament is scheduled for Seoul, South Korea.

Obama closed the brief ceremony by thanking Mickelson for an ''excellent tip'' about playing in the sand.

''I'm pretty sure I can shave at least two or three strokes if I can just get out of the darn sand,'' Obama said.

Woods, who is recovering from back surgery, was in the Washington area to host his charitable golf tournament in Bethesda, Maryland, later this week. He was accompanied at the White House by his girlfriend, U.S. skiing star Lindsey Vonn.

Obama and Woods played golf together last year in Palm City, Florida. The president is an avid golfer who can be found on the golf course most weekends.

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