President Golf Matches: Obama, Bushes and Clinton Eliminated

From the ARMCHAIR GOLF archives.

President Golf Matches: Obama, Bushes and Clinton Eliminated 1
Ike is still in, Bush is out. (Public Domain)

UNDER CLOUDY SKIES AT AUGUSTA National Golf Club, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower and Gerald Ford advanced to the semifinals of the Presidents Golf Championship.

For No. 13 seed Nixon, it was the second consecutive upsetthis time at the expense of George H.W. Bushalthough he now faces political nemesis and tournament top seed Kennedy in the semifinals. When asked for his thoughts about his next opponent, JFK declined to comment.

(Last week: Nixon upset highlights opening matches)

The other semifinal will pit No. 2 seed Dwight Eisenhower against No. 3 seed Gerald Ford. Summaries of the quarterfinal matches are below, followed by the upcoming semifinal matches.


#1 Kennedy defeats #8 Obama, (match score not disclosed)

While Obama’s political skills may remind some people of JFK, his inconsistent golf game was no match for Kennedy’s, especially at Augusta. It was over early, and, by mutual agreement, the final match score was not disclosed so as to not embarrass the current president. Not only did Obama show respect for Kennedy’s golf game, he praised JFK’s skillful oratory. The pair spent much of the match discussing their inauguration speeches.

#13 Nixon defeats #5 George H.W. Bush, 1-up

Long shot Richard Nixon once again showed his resiliency and resolve, coming from three holes down on Augusta’s inward nine to upset George H.W. Bush. The rally began at the par-5 13th hole, where Nixon noticeably slowed down his play, which clearly infuriated the fast-playing Bush. The comeback was completed on the final hole when a rattled Bush three-putted for a double bogey and Nixon slapped a 20-foot bogey putt that raced across the green and dove into the cup. When asked about gamesmanship, Nixon’s reply sounded like a warning. “My opponents should know I play to win.”


#2 Eisenhower defeats #7 Clinton, 9 and 7

Ike was on his game and decimated an overmatched Bill Clinton in the day’s second-to-the-last pairing. The general had his game face on and was impervious to Clinton’s charm and golfing eccentricities (even when Clinton gave himself a potential hole-winning putt). The one bright spot for Clinton was an improbable ace on the par-3 6th hole. It was the only hole he won. Despite the lopsided match score, Clinton insisted he shot an 85. He signed autographs and chatted with spectators before climbing into a waiting limousine.

#3 Ford defeats #6 George W. Bush, 4 and 3

With most of the spectators following the Ike-Clinton match directly in front of them, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush played an amiable, uneventful match in relative solitude. Whether looking ahead to his semifinal match with Eisenhower or easing up on his erratic opponent, Ford dropped some holes on the final nine, which made the match appear to be closer than it was.

Semifinal Matches

Results of the following matches will be published next Tuesday.


#1 Kennedy vs. #13 Nixon


#2 Eisenhower vs. #3 Ford

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

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