President George W. Bush met members of the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team in the Oval Office on Monday. From left: Stewart Cink, Chad Campbell, Ben Curtis, Hunter Mahan, Bush, captain Paul Azinger and assistant captain Raymond Floyd, Jim Furyk, J.B. Holmes and Boo Weekley.
Lawrence Jackson/AP
Thursday, March 19, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — President George W. Bush celebrated Monday with American golfers who reclaimed the Ryder Cup for the U.S.

Bush held a private picture-taking session in the Oval Office with captain Paul Azinger and seven members of the 12-member Ryder Cup team, which ended an era of frustration in September with a resounding victory over Europe.

The Americans led from start to finish, winning golf's pre-eminent event for the first time since 1999 with half their squad made up of Ryder Cup rookies.

Bush posed with Azinger, longtime Ryder Cup participant and assistant captain Raymond Floyd, and 2008 team members Stewart Cink, Chad Campbell, Ben Curtis, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk, J.B. Holmes and Boo Weekley. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, an avid golfer herself, was there as well.

He told them he avidly followed ``every minute'' of their play.

``This was the icing on the cake for me and the players,'' Azinger said in a statement afterward. ``I said to the president how much I appreciated the joy that he and his staff had for us.''

The team gave Bush a personalized Ryder Cup golf bag, the same Sunday red golf shirt and sweater vest worn by the team and a Ryder Cup money clip.

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