September 29 was a beautiful day at Lowes Island country club in Sterling, Virginia. The sky was sunny, there was a pleasant breeze, and the golf course's immaculate fairways hadn't suffered too much from the steady rain of the previous twenty-four hours. It was a big day at Lowes Island; the club was hosting the second annual Ronald H. Brown Memorial Golf Tournament. Several government officials came to play, as did lots of corporate bigwigs —and to top it off, Bill Clinton himself had agreed to show up for eighteen holes in the afternoon.
The president seemed in good spirits as he walked to the first tee. Sporting a bright red Stanford University cap in honor of his daughter's recent college choice, he kept a running conversation with playing partners Michael Brown, son of the late Ron Brown, and William Daley, the man who succeeded Brown as secretary of commerce. As usual, the press was not allowed to follow the president beyond the first hole, but it appeared that everyone enjoyed the round. And Clinton's presence no doubt helped raise a lot of money for the tournament's beneficiary, the Ronald H. Brown Memorial Foundation.