Golf fans in the Coachella Valley returned to PGA West and La Quinta Country Club on January 18, 2022 to cheer on their favorite players in The American Express. Founded in 1960 as the Palm Springs Golf Classic, the tournament has had several sponsors over the years. The event was renamed the Bob Hope Desert Classic in 1965 and was known as the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic from 1986-2009.
Since then sponsors have included Humana (2012-2015), a health insurance company, and CareerBuilders (2016-2018), an employment website. American Express became the tournament sponsor in 2020 and in 2022 the company extended its role as the title sponsor of the tournament until 2028.
A field of 156 pro golfers teed off on Thursday, January 18, 2022 in search of the $1.36 million first prize money and 65 players made the final cut going into the final round on Sunday, January 23rd.
Competing in the 2022 tournament was a mix of relative newcomers to the PGA Tour and veteran world ranked golfers who have won major championships. One popular new player, and 2021 PGA rookie of the year, was 25 year-old Will Zalatoris who tied for 5th place at The American Express and finished in second place after a playoff with Luke List at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines the week following the American Express.
Since its inception, the official host of The American Express has been fan-favorite Phil Mickelson who has won 45 events on the PGA Tour including six major championships, three Masters titles, and two PGA Championships.
Other veteran players at the 2022 The American Express included John Rahm, the current #1 ranked player in the world and the 2021 U.S. Open winner; Patrick Cantlay, 2021 FedEx Cup winner, runner up at The American Express in 2021, and current #3 ranked player in the world; and Jason Day, 17-time PGA Tour winner including the PGA Championship (2015) and Players Championship (2016).
The winner of the 2022 The American Express was 34-year old Hudson Swafford, who recorded 5 birdies and an eagle on the final nine holes to shoot 23-under par over four rounds to win the tournament by two shots. Swafford had won only twice before on the PGA Tour and one of his victories was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in 2017. For his victory at the 2022 The American Express, Swafford won $1,368,000.
Arnold Palmer won the very first Palm Springs Golf Classic in 1960 by shooting -22 under par. He won the event a total of five times and for his 1960 victory, Palmer’s first place finish earned him $1,500.