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Congressional Golfers Swing for Charity

Rep. John Yarmuth warms up before participating in the 2015 Politics & Pros Golf Classic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Putting aside politics Monday, six members of Congress participated in a charity golf game to raise funds for young golfers in the District of Columbia.  

The lawmakers joined more than 100 amateur golfers and 10 professional players for the 14th annual Politics and Pros Classic to benefit First Tee of Greater Washington, a youth golf program. The event at the Bethesda Country Club raised nearly $220,000 for First Tee, which seeks to foster character development through the game of golf. First Tee also benefits from the First Tee Congressional Challenge, which will be held on July 27. The congressional challenge pits Republicans against Democrats and some of the congressional golfers were on hand for the tournament Monday.  

"Well, some of our team members from the [congressional challenge] weren't able to play but that helps the First Tee and so that's obviously something that we're all interested in," Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., said Tuesday.  

Crenshaw is the captain for the GOP team and enjoyed playing alongside some of the golf pros on Monday, including a U.S. Open champion.  

"We played a few holes with Jerry Pate, who played on the professional tour," Crenshaw said. "And his point was, similar to my point, when you play golf with somebody you get to know them a little bit and so it's always a good way to develop relationships."  

California Rep. Steve Knight was the other Republican who joined Crenshaw on the links. Four Democrats also played in the tournament, including golf captain Reps. John Yarmuth of Kentucky; Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana; Albio Sires of New Jersey, and James E. Clyburn of South Carolina.  

None of the members of Congress finished in the top three teams. The winning foursome scored a 110 for the day, 30 under par.  

Although they were not victorious, the lawmakers were able to practice their swings ahead of the partisan faceoff in July. Republicans easily beat the Democrats in 2014, and are looking for a repeat performance to defend the coveted Roll Call Cup.  

"And as far as the ... Cup, I'm encouraging my members to go home every weekend and hit some balls and practice. So we look forward to defending the cup," Crenshaw said. Asked if the GOP would once again be victorious, he said, "I'm always optimistic."  

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