PGA TOUR Event in La Quinta, Calif., will also have new four-day format, reducing number of courses in rotation to three. Winner will receive a new Bob Hope Trophy.
The PGA TOUR tournament in La Quinta, Calif. will have a new name, new format, new trophy, and new focus on health and well-being when it is played in 2012, it was announced on July 1. The event formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic will now be called the “Humana Challenge” when it is played in January 2012.
Besides the name change, the tournament also will feature several changes to the professional and amateur format. The changes include:
• A four-day tournament, beginning Thursday of tournament week, with the first three rounds played in a pro-am format.
• The pro-am teams will consist of one professional and one amateur playing in groups of four.
• For each day of the three round pro-am competition, the professional will have a different amateur partner. Amateurs will compete in daily competitions as well as an overall, three day competition
• Round 4 will be professionals only, with a normal 70 + ties cut.
• The field size for the event will be 144 professionals, an increase of 16 professional spots from the previous format, and 144 amateurs.
The number of courses to be used in the rotation for the tournament will be reduced from four to three: La Quinta Country Club, a tournament course since 1965; PGA WEST Nicklaus Private, and PGA WEST Palmer Private. PGA WEST has been in the rotation since 1986. Though the city-owned SilverRock Resort course will no longer be utilized, tournament organizers announced, the event will continue its close partnership with the City of La Quinta as it provides support services and joint-marketing efforts for the event.
The announcement of the changes followed the announcement in April of a new eight-year agreement between the PGA TOUR and the tournament’s host organization, Desert Classic Charities (DCC), with the new title sponsor, Humana, and the William J. Clinton Foundation. While the new tournament name reflects the event’s new focus on healthy lifestyle practices, the tournament organizers said they will still honor and celebrate the legacy of Bob Hope and his longtime role as tournament host, including the awarding of a newly created Bob Hope Trophy to the winner.
“Humana, the Clinton Foundation and the PGA TOUR will work together to promote health and well-being in order to positively impact people’s behavior and improve their quality of life,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “There will be a number of ways that attendees and viewers can take part in healthy lifestyle practices throughout the week that they can easily adapt to their everyday lives. In addition, we are delighted to have the enthusiastic support of the Hope family. Mr. Hope epitomized a healthy lifestyle, living to be 100. We will continue to honor his legacy and be forever grateful for what he did for golf, this tournament, the PGA TOUR and charity.”
Thanks in large part to Bob Hope becoming involved as tournament host in 1965, the tournament has generated more than $50 million, funding the construction of the Eisenhower Medical Center and supporting many other charities in the Coachella Valley. Throughout the week, there will be several elements specifically designed to honor the legacy of the event’s 52-year history and Hope’s longtime involvement. A full listing of these elements will be released at a later date.
“I want to thank Humana, President Clinton and Commissioner Finchem for their commitment to ensuring that Bob Hope’s legacy will be preserved throughout the tournament and beyond,” said daughter Linda Hope. “My dad has been such an integral part of golf and charity in the Coachella Valley so our family is pleased that the tournament will continue to tell his remarkable story. I know that Dad would be enthusiastic about the tournament’s new focus on health and well being, but he’d probably add some laughter to the mix – these components, after all, coupled with a passion for golf, were the secrets to his century of a well-lived life.”
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