The PGA Tour's long-running event in the California desert has a new sponsor. The tournament run in 2019 as the Desert Classic in Palm Springs will now be known as The American Express, with the financial services company taking over as the title sponsor of the event still thought of as the Bob Hope Classic.
The Desert Sun and Sports Business Daily reported the news Monday.
The length of the deal and the affect it will have on the tournament purse is still to be determined.
The first PGA Tour event of the new calendar year played in the mainland United States was played without a title sponsor last year following the exit of CareerBuilder from their involvement. CareerBuilder funded the event, but, after announcing their intention to end a three-year run as sponsor two months before the tournament, did not have their name on it.
Phil Mickelson headlined as the unofficial host, while Justin Rose, Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed were among the bigger names to compete at PGA West's Stadium Course, which leads a three-course rotation for the tournament. Golf Channel broadcasts all four rounds of the pro-am-style event.
American Express, whose history dates back to 1850, has been heavily involved in golf. They have sponsored events around the world and, in recent years, have worked with the USGA on several initiatives for cardholders. The company last sponsored a PGA Tour-run event in 2006, marking the conclusion of the WGC-American Express Championship, the lone World Golf Championships event to travel the world.
The pro-am nature of the tournament will continue under the new deal, and the tournament rotation will continue with two courses (Stadium Course and Nicklaus Tournament Course) at PGA West, as well La Quinta Country Club. American Express will take some unspecified number of the 156 available pro-am spots and reserve those for clients.
Adam Long will defend his title Jan. 16-19, after edging out Adam Hadwin and Phil Mickelson to win his first PGA Tour event.