Monday, September 26, 2016

CareerBuilder Challenge Statement on the Passing of Legend Arnold Palmer

Ernie Dunlevie, Arnold Palmer and Bob Hope. Courtesy CareerBuilder Challenge
(STATEMENT) - Golf legend and icon Arnold Palmer passed away on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA – 15 days after his 87th birthday. A winner of 62 PGA TOUR titles and seven major championships, and a 1974 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Palmer is the CareerBuilder Challenge’s only five-time champion – winning in 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971 and 1973.

Statement from John Foster (Chairman of the Board, Desert Classic Charities) on the Sept. 25, 2016 passing of Arnold Palmer:
“It is with immensely heavy hearts that the entire CareerBuilder Challenge staff mourns the passing of Arnold Palmer. Arnold was golf’s ultimate people’s champion and, as a five-time winner of our tournament, our most decorated champion. His golfing history is indelibly linked to ours and spans every generation of golfer who has played the CareerBuilder Challenge – from winning our inaugural tournament in 1960 and making the 1973 edition of our tournament his 62nd and final PGA TOUR victory, while holding close his friendships with Bob Hope and our numerous celebrity players, to serving as host to our 50th tournament in 2009. Yet, as we came to know, Arnold the man was exponentially greater than his countless golfing accolades. Arnold’s spirit will continue to live on in the Coachella Valley through his triumphs and fans, the moments and stories his many pro-am partners hold near and dear, and that famous, warm smile that shone as bright as the La Quinta sun to every person he gave an autograph to and posed for a photo with. Our deepest and most sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his wife, Kit, his kids, grandkids, great grandchildren, and all of his family.”

Arnold Palmer and the CareerBuilder Challenge
- Palmer is the CareerBuilder Challenge’s only five-time champion, winning in 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971 and 1973.
- Palmer won the tournament’s inaugural competition in 1960 (then known as the Palm Springs Golf Classic) when he shot 22-under-par 338 to win $12,000. The purse that year was $70,000. His score would stand as the tournament record for 17 years.
- Palmer won his 62nd and final PGA TOUR title at the 1973 Bob Hope Desert Classic in a showdown with Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus was already golf’s all-time leading money winner and Palmer was a four-time event champion. Palmer shot 17-under-par 343 and defeated Nicklaus and Johnny Miller by two strokes to become the tournament’s only five-time champion.
- Palmer became the tournament’s first three-time winner when he defeated Deane Beman in a sudden-death playoff at Bermuda Dunes Country Club in 1968.
- Palmer played in three of the CareerBuilder Challenge’s 18 playoffs. He lost to Doug Sanders in 1966, defeated Deane Beman in 1968, and defeated Raymond Floyd in 1971.
- Palmer served as the official host of the 50th edition of the tournament - the Bob Hope Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer - in 2009. That event was won by Pat Perez.

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