First, Greg Norman, and then Phil Mickelson, not to mention Matt Kuchar and Davis Love III. Now, Anthony Kim, the most recent big name to enter
the Bob Hope Classic Humana Challenge. Kim went to nearby La Quinta High and has a home in the area, but he hasn’t included the tournament on his schedule since 2008 when he finished T3 (however, during last year’s event many reported AK sightings, myself included — mostly spotted him at a local watering hole).
President Bill Clinton’s involvement in the event has certainly attracted some players who haven’t played in the desert in a while (I decided in December to cover it because of Clinton..). As my colleague Cameron Morfit asked on Twitter, “Is there a Comeback Tournament of the Year award?”
Here’s the Wednesday media blast:
LA QUINTA, Calif. – The fame factor from the professional golf and celebrity worlds intersects at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation and continues to heighten, as La Quinta High School product Anthony Kim, musicians Smokey Robinson and Alice Cooper and basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving have joined the field at the Coachella Valley’s annual PGA TOUR golf tournament Jan. 16-22.
Kim joins a professional player field that already includes four-time major championship winner Phil Mickelson, World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and 2011 FedExCup winner Bill Haas, among many other accomplished names.
Robinson, Cooper and Erving join a star-studded 2012 celebrity field that also includes musician Michael Bolton and actors Craig T. Nelson, Billy Crudup and Lucas Black. Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman and Oscar nominee Don Cheadle were previously announced as participants in the Humana Challenge’s celebrity field.
“Adding Anthony to our field is a terrific boost with less than a week to go before we open the gates, as we know there is a tremendous amount of interest in him due to his ties to the Coachella Valley,” Humana Challenge Tournament Chairman Larry Thiel said. “Add in some of the world’s most famous and talented entertainers and these are tremendous additions to what is becoming a great field of players and personalities that I’m sure will excite our fans.”
Kim is expected to draw large galleries due to his local ties and his exciting, aggressive style of play. He has played in his home event twice before, as a rookie in 2007 and in 2008, when he shot five rounds in the 60s and tied for third.
A three-time winner on the PGA TOUR, Kim’s best season of his young career came in 2008, when he won the Wachovia Championship and the AT&T National while earning six other top-10 finishes, totaling more than $4.6 million in earnings – good for sixth on the money list – and finishing fourth in FedExCup points. Kim was a member of the U.S. teams at the 2009 Presidents Cup, 2008 Ryder Cup and 2005 Walker Cup.