Obama on board for Presidents Cup

Monday, June 1, 2009

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — President Barack Obama has agreed to be the honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, the sixth consecutive time for an active head of state to be involved in the biennial golf competition.

PGA Tour officials said it was not known if Obama would attend the matches, to be played Oct. 8-11 at Harding Park in San Francisco. The only head of state who did not attend was President George W. Bush in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina.

Former President Gerald Ford was honorary chairman when the matches began in 1994, and former President George H.W. Bush accepted the role in 1996.

Since then, every active head of state or government in the host country has served as honorary chairman — U.S. presidents Bill Clinton (2000) and George W. Bush (2005); Prime Minister John Howard of Australia in 1998; South Africa President Thabo Mbeki in 2003; and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada in 2007.

The matches are between the United States and an International team consisting of players from every continent except for Europe. The United States is the defending champion, winning at Royal Montreal two years ago.