Graham DeLaet, along with members of the U.S. and International President’s Cup teams, met with President Barack Obama at the White House on June 24. Obama, the honourary chairman of the past two President’s Cup matches, recognized the victory of the U.S. team.
“The United States won both times. I’m just saying,” Obama quipped during the East Room ceremony. All 12 members of the U.S. team were in attendance, and there were also a handful of members of the International President’s Cup team.
Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner also were on stage with Obama, who introduced them as “two of my favorite golf partners.”
Many of the President’s Cup players took time away from the Quicken Loans National at the nearby Congressional Country Club. DeLaet, who forgot to commit to that particular tournament, had played tourist in Washington, D.C., instead.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said DeLaet. It was also an opportunity for his wife Ruby too, since President’s Cup members and their wives had attended a special reception held at the White House.
Both teams were invited to the reception, since Obama wanted to salute both teams because none of the players receive any compensation for competing in the President’s Cup, which was held last year at Muirfield Village, Jack Nicklaus’ signature creation, in Dublin, Ohio. All proceeds go to charities of the players’ choices, and last year a record $5 million was raised.
Players and their families had the opportunity for a self-guided tour of the East Wing. In addition, both teams were taken to the Oval Office for additional tours.
DeLaet had a breakout performance at the President’s Cup, playing all four team matches with Aussie Jason Day, scoring a 2-1-1 record. Though the Internationals lost the Cup 18-1/2 to 15-1/2, DeLaet then crowned a superb week by holing a greenside bunker shot for a birdie at the 18th to beat PGA Tour rookie of the year Jordan Spieth one-up.
During the 2014 PGA Tour season DeLaet has competed three out of four possible majors, with the PGA Championship scheduled for Thursday to Sunday, Aug. 7-10.
On Monday, DeLaet started the inaugural Canada Cup tournament with teammates Mike Weir and David Hearn.