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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 18, 2002

Clinton stopover includes golf outing with Cayetano

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Former President Bill Clinton, on a Honolulu stopover en route to Asia, put on a pair of shorts, lit a cigar and played a leisurely round of golf yesterday with Gov. Ben Cayetano and two former Hawai'i governors at the Waialae Country Club.

With Gov. Ben Cayetano looking on, former President Clinton practices his stroke at the first tee at the Waialae Country Club.

Cory Lum • The Honolulu Advertiser

"It's always wonderful to be back here with old friends," Clinton said, as he stopped to shake hands with a small group of onlookers beyond the fence at the sixth tee. "I love this place."

The former president, whose last extended trip to Hawai'i was in 1996, clinched a large cigar between his teeth as he played with Cayetano, John Waihee and George Ariyoshi. The play was casual, and Clinton hugged Ariyoshi as the former governor took his leave of the group after holing out on the fifth green.

The semi-official scores leaked off the course had Cayetano 91, Waihee 89 and Clinton 84. Par for the course is 72.

The game lasted nearly five hours. According to other golfers and onlookers, Clinton took his customary "mulligans" — hitting another ball if he didn't like where the first one landed — here and there.

"On the first hole," reported Jeff Arce, a golfer who played ahead of Clinton.

Clinton will leave Hawai'i early today and lead a delegation to East Timor, where independence is being celebrated and the newly liberated nation will inaugurate its first president, Xanana Gusmao.

"I'm very excited," Clinton said. "I was very pleased when the White House asked me to go. We've sponsored the first new nation of the 21st century."

Clinton sent U.S. troops to work alongside Australian soldiers when the former Indonesian territory separated from Jakarta in 1999, as part of a United Nations peace mission launched to safeguard East Timor's independence.

"It's a small place," Clinton said yesterday. "They have some problems and they'll need some help, but they have taken a big step forward for independence and liberty.

"I think this augers well for the future of Asia," he said.

Clinton said he hopes continued U.S. support of nations in need, including East Timor, Bosnia, and the Kosovo region of Yugoslavia, remains a national priority.

"We've learned from Afghanistan, after the pullout, that when you start these things, you have to stay with them," he said.

• • •

As a bystander approached a thorny bush separating the course from Waiholo Street, Clinton extended his hand.

Cory Lum • The Honolulu Advertiser

Former President Clinton had an unofficial score of 84 at the Waialae Country Club’s golf course yesterday. Par for the course is 72.

Cory Lum • The Honolulu Advertiser