Republican Win Is Par for the Course
Rep. John Tanner’s (D-Tenn.) yelp had Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) cringing.
“I hate it when I hear my partner make a noise like that,” said Doyle. “Especially since we’re alternating shots.”
Although Doyle certainly was correct to be worried about his partner’s latest shot, he should have been more concerned about the entire Democratic team’s performance in Monday’s First Tee Congressional Golf Tournament. While the Doyle-Tanner tandem still managed to pull out a win in their alternating-shot team-play matchup against Reps. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) and Jim McCrery (R-La.), the Republicans triumphed.
The GOP again took home the prized Roll Call cup, winning 14-6. Republicans have won the tournament all three years it has been in existence. Unlike past years, when the Democrats took the team events while the GOP won the individual matches, the Republicans scored an all-around victory this year, dominating every aspect of the competition.
The tournament is played in a style similar to the Ryder Cup, which starts today. First are two team matchups, when a pair of golfers from each squad face off in a “best ball” format. Following this is alternating-shot team play, as well as nine holes of single play. All in all, each lawmaker played 27 holes of golf.
The proceeds from the tournament are donated to The First Tee, an organization dedicated to giving young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education, life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity, perseverance and sportsmanship.
They could not have found a nicer place to spend a Monday morning. The tournament is held at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md. The scenic club has a storied history: The U.S. Open was held there in 1921, when Jim Barnes won and legendary linksman Bobby Jones tied for fifth place. And just last year the USGA Junior Championships were held at the club.
Oxley, the head of the GOP golf squad in addition to teams in two other sports, said that managing the Republicans in the golf tournament made “managing the baseball and basketball games” seem easy by comparison.
Dan Tate Sr., the coordinator of the tournament, said it “is a dog fight; it always is. … These guys don’t play competitive golf, but they always manage to step it up and hit the big shots.” Shortly before he said this, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) had sunk a 30-foot putt to win a hole.
Dramatic plays permeated the tournament. “We had these guys [Reps. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.)] down two holes after two,” Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.) recalled after the best-ball portion of the tournament had ended. “Then Baca hits a birdie on the last hole to win it.”
“At least the Democrats will get one point today,” Ferguson’s partner, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chimed in as the duo pulled away in their golf cart.