Remarks by the President During Opening Ceremonies of the 2000 President's Cup (10/18/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

Immediate Release                          October 18, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

                       Robert Trent Jones Golf Club
                          Lake Manassas, Virginia

4:58 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much, Dan;
Governor; Commissioner Finchem; Captain Venturi; Captain Thomson and the
American International Teams; ladies and gentlemen.

     I want to begin by saying how privileged I feel to be the Honorary
Chairman of this tournament and to be here on this magnificent fall day, at
the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, where my friend, Vernon Jordan, and I
have spent so many happy days playing golf.

     As a gesture of goodwill, I left my clubs home today.  (Laughter.)
Actually, I offered to play on the American team, but when I had to confess
I have never broken 80 on this course -- even from the white tees -- I was
immediately rejected, showing how much the world has changed since
President Johnson said, "there's one lesson you better learn if you want to
be in politics:  never go out on a golf course and beat the President."
(Laughter.)  I keep passing that out, even to strangers, and no one takes
it seriously anymore.  (Laughter.)
     Let me say to all of you, I love the President's Cup.  The greatest
players from around the world and here in the United States, playing for
sheer love of the game and competition, pride of nation, donating their
winnings to their favorite charities.

     After this year, the four President's Cup competitions will have
raised more than $6 million for 100 charities -- to fund schools and
hospitals, to fight disease, to teach young people not only the skills, but
the sportsmanship of golf.  That is the genius of the President's Cup and I
thank all of you who are part of that.  (Applause.)

     If I might, I'd also like to say a word in my capacity as
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.  I want to thank Captain Venturi
and the American team members for wearing the black arm bands in honor of
those who perished aboard the USS Cole.  I spent the morning with the
families of the fallen and injured sailors and their larger Navy family in

     Like the golfers here, they come from many different ethnic and
religious backgrounds.  Like you, they stood for our common humanity and
those who want to build a world where we bridge our differences and
celebrate our diversity.

     When you play in this tournament with honor, and by the rules,
respecting the character and ability of your opponents, you show the world,
including those rooting hard for you, the way we all ought to live and
work.  You offer another rebuke, although gentle and gentlemanly, to those
who believe our differences are more important than our common humanity.

     I ask you to say a little prayer for those folks tonight.  This is a
tough day for them.  Almost all those 17 sailors were very young, just
beginning life's journey.  But they were proud of what they did -- and what
they did and what their successes do today is very important.  May God
bless them and their families.  (Applause.)

     Now, as the Honorary Chairman, my first order of business is to
declare this tournament officially open.  Secondly, I have been informed --
much against my better instincts -- to declare this a no-mulligans zone.
(Laughter.)  Now, I would like to invite the two captains up here to join
me for a presentation and before the Cup.

     Thank you very much and God bless you all.  (Applause.)

                           END                   5:04 P.M. EDT

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