Norman playing Humana; President Clinton next?


Greg Norman has committed to the Humana Challenge field, fueling speculation that he may be paired in the pro-am event with longtime friend President Bill Clinton.

The former Bob Hope Classic is in its first year with a new title sponsor, which is presenting the tournament in conjunction with the Clinton Foundation later this month.

Norman and Clinton have known each other socially since the latter’s time in office. It was in March of 1997 when the President suffered a torn tendon in his right knee after falling down the steps at Norman’s home in Florida.

There is already some thought that Norman’s inclusion in the tournament could mean Clinton will compete, as well. Nothing has been announced, but he was asked about that possibility while meeting with a group of reporters in October.

“Oh, well, I hope I can,” Clinton said. “I'm not very good anymore. Haiti just about ruined my golf game. My best year as a golfer was the first year I got out of the White House. I got down to a 10 handicap. But I'm not close to that now. I just don't play enough.

“I saw President Bush – George W. Bush and I were doing this project in Haiti – and he was ragging me. He said, ‘I'm down to a 10 now.’ I was there my first year after office. I said, ‘You're just going to have to resist the temptation to do good.’ I said, ‘You start traveling and it will wreck you, because we're the same age.’”

Norman hasn’t competed in this event since finishing in 53rd place in 1986 and hasn’t competed in any PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament since 2009.

“I'm all too happy to support President Clinton's commitment to the Humana Challenge and his Foundation,” Norman said. “I'm confident with the recent changes to the tournament's sponsorship and format, and with the support President Clinton will give, this event, which has been one of the most iconic tournaments for decades, will once again establish itself as one of the tournaments to play in.”