— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) January 16, 2014
There are stars, and then there is Bill Clinton.
Among the reasons the former president and his Clinton Foundation became involved with the Humana Challenge was to save a legacy tournament in danger of dying.
There are other reasons – health and wellness initiatives chief among them – but the tournament built on Bob Hope’s immense stardom was being ignored by golf’s stars. It’s still that way to some extent – Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy are in Abu Dhabi and Tiger Woods is waiting until next week to make his 2014 debut – but when Clinton signed on three years ago, the Humana Challenge landed a bigger star than any player.
He’s spent the week in the Coachella Valley participating in forums, talking with other sponsors and working on his golf game in the sunny, 82-degree weather.
“I don’t play too much,” Clinton said in a press conference. “I try to play a little in the summer. I did play twice between Christmas and New Year’s and I’ve played 27 holes since I’ve been out here. But that’s the most I’ve played in this concentrated amount of time in a long time.”
Clinton said he played a lot of golf after leaving the White House but heart surgery and then his commitment to rebuilding Haiti after the earthquake there have chewed away at his golf time.
“It adversely affected my golf game and my attempts to stay active in my thwarted saxophone career,” Clinton said. “I’m trying to get back into both this year. I had a pretty good round (Wednesday). Everybody gets lucky once in a while.”