Oh I'm sure he's been there many times. Probably slaved over the details of each hole. Anyway, the news that will not improve the field unless The King trades Bay Hill exemptions for appearances at the Hope, but which will ensure several hours of bantering with Kelly Tilghman and Nick Faldo:
ARNOLD PALMER NAMED HOST OF 2009 BOB HOPE CHRYSLER CLASSIC
The man who won the event five times will host its 50th anniversary next year
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Golf and Palm Springs icon Arnold Palmer will host the 50th anniversary of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, to be played Jan. 19-25, 2009.
Palmer has not only played the tournament 42 of its 50 years, he also won five of his 62 PGA TOUR titles there, including his last, and he’s as much a staple of the Coachella Valley as the tournament itself.
“We can’t think of a more appropriate person to help us celebrate our 50th year of this wonderful event,” said Bob Hope Chrysler Classic President Dave Erwin. “In addition to his success as a player here, Arnold’s classic style and unmatched connection to his adoring fans helped us reach such an honorable milestone. We feel privileged to have him as our host for this special year and know that Bob would agree.”
“It was very special to me when I was asked to serve as the host of next year’s 50th anniversary Bob Hope Chrysler Classic,” said Palmer, who won the inaugural event in 1960. “I enjoyed some of my greatest success in the Hope in the early years and have loved the Palm Springs area ever since I first went there. I consider it a great honor to follow in the footsteps of Bob Hope as host of this wonderful tournament, which has been a mainstay on the PGA Tour for so many years. I thought the world of Bob Hope and spent many priceless hours with him on and off the golf course.”
Palmer’s 62 career wins – seven majors – rank him fifth on the all-time wins list, but it was his go-for-broke style and approachable, charismatic personality that made him a fan favorite.