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Bush Plays Some Early Morning Golf

August 23, 2001

WACO, Texas (AP) _ Up and out before the sun, President Bush teed off into the trees Thursday and sheepishly shrugged: ``So, I won’t be a professional golfer.″

After Bush took a second shot from the first tee, one man in a waiting foursome said he planned to fetch the president’s errant ball as a souvenir. ``If you can find the first one, you’re a pretty good bird dog,″ Bush cracked.

Bush spoke by phone with budget director Mitch Daniels, then was out the gate of his Crawford ranch by 6:40 a.m. to play his latest round of vacation golf at the Ridgewood Country Club with Texas state Sen. David Sibley and two friends, Roland Betts and Dr. Ned Snider. He was later dropping by the Crawford Elementary School to thank pupils and faculty for sharing their gymnasium with the White House press corps that has camped there all month.

Earlier in his hot and dusty Texas respite, Bush disdained East Coast vacationers for ``lying on the beach, sucking in the salt air.″ Thursday, it was the other coast’s turn for a poke. When a member of his entourage told him she’d just been at the beach on the West Coast, Bush asked teasingly: ``Brie and cheese?″

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