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Pro-am gives Boudreau ‘thrill’

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Bruce Boudreau's day began with meeting Tiger Woods and ended with the Washington Capitals' signing of winger Mike Knuble on the opening day of NHL free agency.

The middle part wasn't bad either.

Playing in the AT&T National pro-am Wednesday at Congressional Country Club, the Caps' coach was in a group headed by fellow Canadian left-hander Mike Weir.

Boudreau has followed Weir's career for years, but before their 6:40 a.m. tee time, the two had never met and Boudreau had never watched Weir play in person. That changed during the round, which also included Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell and receiver Antwaan Randle El.

"I can't describe the thrill, because he's the guy I watch," Boudreau said after attending the opening ceremonies on the first tee box. "Tiger's Tiger, but I watch Mike every chance I get.

"As a Canadian guy who loves to golf, he's been our hero for a long time. He was everything I thought he would be."

The foursome was followed by a small group of fans (about 35 to 40) and only two spectators wore Capitals or Redskins apparel; in the group ahead of them, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's No. 9 jersey could be seen up and down the fairways. Romo played with Woods.

Romo is a scratch golfer and hit from the professional tees. Boudreau, Campbell and Randle El aren't as polished, but Weir said the trio played at a crisp pace and didn't bog him down.

"I was trying to help them out a little [with tips]," said Weir, who begins first-round play Thursday at 12:50 p.m. "But they don't play a lot. It's a game you have to practice and play a lot."

Campbell estimated he plays six to 10 times a year, preferring bowling or pickup basketball, and Boudreau's time is limited to a select few days during the summer.

All four players took time for autographs during and after their round. And some nice shots were executed. On their final hole (the par-5 ninth), Randle El and Boudreau reached the green in regulation.

"But I three-putted like an idiot," Boudreau said.

Although not long off the tee, Boudreau showed he belonged by hitting fairways and not whiffing on any shots.

"He's steady," Weir said. "He hits right down the middle, but it was a long course for him because it was wet."

Said Boudreau: "I just wanted to play good. My nerves weren't bad after the first hole."

Before starting the round, Boudreau presented Woods and Weir with autographed Alex Ovechkin jerseys and had his picture taken with both players. He sent out an all-points bulletin for the Woods photographer.

"Somebody took a picture of Tiger and me, and I'm hoping to find the guy," Boudreau said.

Campbell hit several drives high and far, just not straight.

"You have a great day of golf, and then you have a day where you're like, 'Where did this shot come from?' " he said. "Today was in between. ... My tee [shot] is usually my best shot, and today I got it in the fairway only twice."

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