Obama, Boehner win on the golf course

It came down to the 18th hole.

Like the deal to avert the government shutdown earlier this year, the golf match featuring President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner went down to the wire. Except this time, they were on the same team.

Obama and Boehner won their round against Vice President Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in a highly anticipated golf outing Saturday.

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Through the first hole, it appeared that the best golfer of the four was lagging behind.

But Biden sunk a 15-foot putt to make bogey. Still, the extra stroke came back to haunt him.

Saturday's game at Joint Base Andrews was as much about golf as it was the leaders looking to thaw the partisan ice that has gripped discussions over raising the debt limit and cutting spending. But none of the players revealed what business might have been conducted on the course.

The White House said afterward, with wording approved by Boehner's office, that "the foursome had great time and really enjoyed playing golf at Joint Base Andrews today."

"The president and Speaker Boehner teamed up to beat the vice president and Gov. Kasich, the White House said. "The match was won on the 18th hole - the President and the Speaker won $2 each.


"After finishing their round, the president, Speaker Boehner, the vice president and Gov. Kasich went to the patio of the clubhouse where they enjoyed a cold drink, some of the U.S. Open coverage and visited with service members."

While not allowed to follow the foursome throughout the round, the White House press pool was permitted to watch the group as they finished on the green of the first hole.

Kasich, wearing an Ohio State University polo shirt, putted first, missing from 30 feet before tapping in for what was believed to be par. A White House official was estimating the scores as the press stood at a distance from the green.

The vice president went next, draining a 15-foot putter to make bogey.

The president putted next, crouching down to line up his putt before just missing a 12-footer.

The speaker, also a tremendous golfer, apparently hit a solid approach shot, leaving him less than five feet for his par.

Golf Digest ranked Biden, with a handicap of 6.3, 29th in a list of Washington’s top 150 golfers. Boehner was tied for 43rd and Obama trails in a tie for 108th.

In a sign that the round had a nonpartisan feel, Obama patted Boehner on the back as the two men walked to their cart from the the first green. They rode in a cart together.

This story was originally posted at 11:50 a.m. and has been updated.