The desert's long-standing PGA Tour event is back in La Quinta for 2020 with some serious momentum.
In September of '19, the annual tourney announced a big-time "swipe" with a rebrand as The American Express, with the global credit card company signing on for a multi-year deal as new title sponsor; come the closing weeks of the year, World Golf Hall of Famer, San Diego-native and two-time event champion Phil Mickelson added to the scorecard with the news that he'll be enhancing his presence by going from tournament ambassador to official host of the event.
Held from January 15-19, 2020, the tournament and its pro-am feature will again be played across the tri-course rota of the Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament Courses at PGA WEST, along with historic La Quinta Country Club.
Philanthropy remains very much a part of the event's fabric, and this year's growing influence aims to add to the altruism, which has raised more than $60 million for desert causes since the event's founding in 1960.
Ready to watch the world's best tee-up in Greater Palm Springs? Here's your event scorecard.
At host site PGA WEST, prime viewing vantages abound along the famed, finishing stretch of holes on the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course.
Set adjacent to the 16th green and 17th tee box, the "Michelob Ultra Beers Fore Birdie" venue returns and is available to all ticket holders; for imbibers: a birdie scored on either hole results in half-priced beers for the fifteen minutes following the tally.
Set behind the world-renowned "Alcatraz" island green on 17, the popular Casamigos Club is back in play for all ticket holders, proving a premier viewing perch to see the game's best tackle one of the most famed par 3s in the world.
On the Stadium's home hole, the massive, 13,000-square-foot Albertsons VONS Pavilions 18 (also open to all ticket holders) offers a sprawling, indoor/outdoor party post to drink, dine and couple live tournament viewing with a spread of televisions to stay tuned to the NFL playoffs. For service members, the Military Outpost feature behind the 18th green provides complimentary food and refreshments to all active duty, reserve, retired, first responder and military veterans.
And new to the scene for 2020 is the "Corona Premier Par Tee Lounge," located on the 1st tee/9th green, providing enhanced opportunity to enjoy the world-class golf and scenery with even more snack and drink options.
Tee Up and Tune In
Since Lagardere Sports took over running the event in 2017, the post-round weekend concert series on the PGA WEST driving range has become an event staple.
Scheduled for approximately 30-minutes following the conclusion of play (around 5:00 p.m.) on both Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th, attendance to the concerts is free with a general admission ticket.
Echoing the gravity of the announcement of AMEX as title sponsor, the 2020 set list was received with equal enthusiasm and ardor. On Friday following play, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Stevie Nicks, will appear and, on Saturday after golf, country music favorite, Luke Bryan, takes the stage.
"Long" Shots and Fan Favorites
In 2019, Mickelson – along with the rest of the golf world – stood stunned as Adam Long authored a thrilling, unlikely victory with a stellar 14-foot birdie putt on the final hole of play; the maiden Tour win for Long— making just his sixth Tour start— earned him a one-shot victory over his Sunday playing competitors Mickelson and Canada's Adam Hadwin.
The defending champion is back for 2020, seeking to become the event's first back-to-back winner since the great Johnny Miller accomplished the feat in 1975-76. Doing so for Long will prove no easy feat.
Along with Mickelson in the field, early commitments to The American Express include Tony Finau, international stud Paul Casey, budding star Matthew Wolff and Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari.
Enhancing the field's allure will be the desert return of Murrieta-native and five-time Tour winner Rickie Fowler, who'll be making his first appearance in the event since 2014.
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