US President, House Speaker Tee Off

Posted June 18th, 2011 at 11:40 am (UTC-5)
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One of the most anticipated sporting events in Washington got underway Saturday, though few people may ever learn the final score.

U.S. President Barack Obama teed off against one of his fiercest critics, Republican Congressman John Boehner .

The 18-hole match at a golf course at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside the U.S. capital, has been anticipated for months.

Mr. Obama and Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, have what many describe as a respectful working relationship but have clashed over several big issues, including the country's budget.

Aides have expressed hope the friendly golf outing will give the two men a chance to discuss the issues and move closer to a possible agreement.

Boehner is considered the better golfer. Golf Digest magazine ranked the house speaker 43rd among 150 prominent Washington golfers. Mr. Obama was ranked 108th.

On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to say whether the score would be released.

The two men were joined on the course by Vice President Joe Biden and the Republican Governor John Kasich from the speaker's home state of Ohio.

Biden is leading a group of bipartisan lawmakers on talks about the country's budget deficit. Golf Digest ranked him as the best golfer among the four.

The golf outing took place on the same day one of the major men's professional golf tournaments, the U.S. Open, is in its third round on a course just outside Washington in Maryland.