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Top PGA TOUR players descend on desert, set to compete in 64th edition of the American Express

Golf eats, breathes, and sleeps here in the Coachella valley. This week we welcome back the world's very best for the 64th edition of the American Express.

And it's a little different than in years past, but it’s still the PGA TOUR show at America's Western Home of Golf. 

“We have a week of showtime and 51 weeks of preparation,” said Tournament Director Pat McCabe. 

Drive for show and putt for dough. This year's tournament certainly has changes, no tournament host and no defending champion.

But despite the two absences, the tournament is confident that things are better than ever. 

“It’s just been getting stronger and stronger by the day. John Rahm is committed to play in the American Express, Tom Kim, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Will Zalatoris,” said McCabe. “We have 5 of the top 7 in the world.” 

“It teaches you how good they are,” said PGA West resident Daniel Vaughan. “Because after getting out and playing you say wow I can’t believe those guys are hitting those shots.” 

“We are excited to see people come from all over the world to watch this great event.” 

“We are playing for 8 million dollars which is the largest purse in this events history. It was 5.9 just a few years ago,” said McCabe. 

Getting a golf course ready for the PGA TOUR is no easy task.

Director of Agronomy Chris May says their job is far from over. 

“We are still mowing three or four times a day. We have had an incredible flush of growth with the light bit of rain that we had,” said May. “Our total force is about a 110 and they are here anywhere from 60 to 100 hours a week. It’s pretty much sun up sun down and beyond.” 

Also coming this year is a new feature honoring those who served. 

“We are welcoming all retired, active-duty military members and they can come out to the tournament at no charge and have a perfect view in a hospitality structure here,” said McCabe. 

This is a golf tournament, golf experience for everyone but it takes a village. 

“It starts basically in October and it finishes and the end of the tournament. It’s been an awful lot of work and the dedication that our staff and volunteers have is incredible,” said May. 

“A lot of birdies to be made but a lot of fun things to do off the golf course as well,” said McCabe. 

This is only the third stop on Tour so we could see some breakout performances, breakout years start right here at PGA West. 

For more information on the tournament visit HERE.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Bailey Arredondo

Bailey Arredondo is a Sports Anchor/Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. He joined the Desert’s News Leader in January 2022 here.


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