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The Loop

The Loop

Trash talking with a president

February 03, 2010

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- It is apparent that Jerry West, 71 now, still hasn't exhausted his allotment of enthusiasm for life.

The new executive director of the Northern Trust Open was downright giddy over the opportunity that presented itself on Tuesday, a round of golf with Phil Mickelson and President George W. Bush on the South Course at Los Angeles Country Club.

"I hate to call him Mr. President, because he almost seems like your next door neighbor," West said here on Wednesday. "There was a lot of laughing going on out there. I like to kid and I like to spar and a lot of sparring was going on. The President was exceptionally fun. A lot of needling going on out there. I'm fun to be around, okay. I'm fun to be around. I like to kid, okay? I really do. But I also love to needle people, too."

He declined to provide details other than to not, "There was one person that picked the ball up two or three times. I'm not going to repeat who it is."

Asked whether he aimed the needle at Mickelson over his Ping Eye2 wedge. "I refuse to comment on that," he said laughing. "We had a discussion, but it was pretty private."

-- John Strege