The American Express Winners and History

The American Express Winners and History

The American Express Winners and History

The American Express hits a new high — or perhaps low — in tournament branding. The tournament formerly known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic now has absolutely nothing in the name that suggests there’s an athletic event occurring.

In 2024, the tournament made history as Nick Dunlap became just the eighth amateur to win a PGA TOUR event.

The American Express formerly has been known as the Desert Classic, CareerBuilder Challenge, Palm Springs Golf Classic, the Bob Hope Desert Classic, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, and the Humana Challenge.

The American Express continues the tradition of a pro-am format:

  • The first three rounds played in a pro-am format.
  • For each day of the three-round, pro-am competition, the professional has a different amateur partner. Amateurs will compete in daily competitions as well as an overall, three-day competition.
  • Round 4 is professionals only with a normal 70 + ties cut.
  • The top three low net and low gross amateurs will play alongside the pros on Sunday to determine the overall winners .
  • The overall low net amateur and low gross amateur playing on Sunday will be awarded crystal as the 2015 Careerbuilder Challenge Amateur Champion after play on Sunday.
  • The field size for the event is 156 professionals and 156 amateurs.

Three courses are used for The American Express:

  • TPC Stadium Course at PGA West, 7,113 yards, par 72. This is the fifth year as host course. The 1986 design is a Pete Dye product.
  • PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament course (7,159/72). PGA West has been used since 1986.
  • La Quinta CC (7,060/72) in the first three rounds. La Quinta has been used off-and-on since 1964 ( 1964–1986, 1988, 1991–1992, 1994–1995, 1997–1998, 2000–2001, 2003, 2005–2008, 2010–present)
Bob Hope

The tournament began life in 1960 as the Palm Spring Classic. In 1965 comedian Bob Hope added his name to the tournament and became Chairman of the Board. Hope died in 2003 at age 100, but “The Hope” as a tournament lasted until 2011.

The Classic’s biggest draw was—and continues to be—the celebrity Pro-Am competition which has attracted some of each era’s biggest celebrities. Of note was Dwight Eisenhower, who became the first president to play in a Tour event. History was made at the tournament in 1995 when the pro-am team of Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and defending champion Scott Hoch teed up for the tournament’s opening round. The event marked the first time a sitting president – Clinton – had played during a PGA Tour event and perhaps the first time three presidents had ever played together.

The first tournament was won by Arnold Palmer with a final score of 338, or 22 under par. Palmer would win the event five times:  1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1973.

More Hope Classic history: David Duval shot a 59 in the final round of the event in 1999. For a recount of the round, visit here.

YearPlayerScoreTo parMargin
The American Express
2024Nick Dunlap (amateur)259-291 stroke
2023Jon Rahm (2)261-271 stroke
2022Hudson Swafford265-232 strokes
2021Kim Si-Woo265-231 stroke
2020Andrew Landry262-262 strokes
Desert Classic
presented by Workday
2019Adam Long262−261 stroke
Challenge in
Partnership with
the Clinton
2018Jon Rahm266−22Playoff
2017Hudson Swafford268−201 stroke
2016Jason Dufner263−25Playoff
Humana Challenge
in partnership
with the
Clinton Foundation
2015Bill Haas (2)266−221 stroke
2014Patrick Reed260−282 strokes
2013Brian Gay263−25Playoff
2012Mark Wilson264−242 strokes
Bob Hope Classic
2011Jhonattan Vegas333−27Playoff
2010Bill Haas330−301 stroke
2009Pat Perez327−333 strokes
Bob Hope
Chrysler Classic
2008D. J. Trahan334−263 strokes
2007Charley Hoffman343−17Playoff
2006Chad Campbell335−253 strokes
2005Justin Leonard332−283 strokes
2004Phil Mickelson (2)330−30Playoff
2003Mike Weir330−302 strokes
2002Phil Mickelson330−30Playoff
2001Joe Durant324−364 strokes
2000Jesper Parnevik331−271 stroke
1999David Duval334−261 stroke
1998Fred Couples332−28Playoff
1997John Cook (2)327−331 stroke
1996Mark Brooks337−231 stroke
1995Kenny Perry335−251 stroke
1994Scott Hoch334−263 strokes
1993Tom Kite325−356 strokes
1992John Cook336−24Playoff
1991Corey Pavin (2)331−29Playoff
1990Peter Jacobsen339−211 stroke
1989Steve Jones343−17Playoff
1988Jay Haas338−222 strokes
1987Corey Pavin341−191 stroke
1986Donnie Hammond335−25Playoff
Bob Hope Classic
1985Lanny Wadkins333−27Playoff
1984John Mahaffey (2)340−20Playoff
Bob Hope
Desert Classic
1983Keith Fergus335−25Playoff
1982Ed Fiori335−25Playoff
1981Bruce Lietzke335−252 strokes
1980Craig Stadler343−172 strokes
1979John Mahaffey343−171 stroke
1978Bill Rogers339−212 strokes
1977Rik Massengale337−236 strokes
1976Johnny Miller (2)344−163 strokes
1975Johnny Miller339−213 strokes
1974Hubert Green341−192 strokes
1973Arnold Palmer (5)343−172 strokes
1972Bob Rosburg344−161 stroke
1971Arnold Palmer (4)342−18Playoff
1970Bruce Devlin339−214 strokes
1969Billy Casper (2)345−153 strokes
1968Arnold Palmer (3)348−12Playoff
1967Tom Nieporte349−111 stroke
1966Doug Sanders349−11Playoff
1965Billy Casper348−121 stroke
Palm Springs
Golf Classic
1964Tommy Jacobs353−7Playoff
1963Jack Nicklaus345−13Playoff
1962Arnold Palmer (2)342−173 strokes
1961Billy Maxwell345−142 strokes
Palm Springs
Desert Golf Classic
1960Arnold Palmer338−203 strokes

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