It’s a rare thing for secretaries of state to be interviewed about golf, but that was the nonpolicy topic that grabbed the attention of official Washington over the past week, as Tiger Woods’s inaugural golf tournament in the Washington, D.C., area concluded Sunday. It drew big crowds, thousands of military personnel, and a big dollop of Washington VIPs.
Says Senior Writer Thomas Omestad, one of those in attendance was Condoleezza Rice, who visited the tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., and told the Golf Channel that "it’s been great for the city of Washington." One player’s miss-hit, she said, led her to "recognize that wicked hook from my own game."
Another cabinet member, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, played in the event’s pro-am.
And former President George H.W. Bush knocked out the ceremonial first tee shot. The tournament went off, seemingly, without a hitch--that is, unless Woods’s having to hand the winner’s trophy to another player counts as a hitch.
“Well, I don’t like it,” he joked Sunday. The winner of the AT&T National was South Korean golfer K.J. Choi, who finished his four rounds at Congressional at 9 under par. The AT&T National was intended to pay homage to U.S. military men and women through the Independence Day week; Woods’s late father, Earl, had been a Green Beret officer and served in Vietnam. Woods said a highlight for him was to have a unit visit from his father’s old base, Fort Bragg. The event returns next summer.