We’re in California for the American Express PGA event, a pro-am which matches pro golfers with various A, B and C-List celebrities.
American Express PGA: The Tournament
The event is probably better known as the Bob Hope Classic, then the Humana Challenge, and more recently the CareerBuilder Challenge, then the Desert Classic… and now The American Express! It has been on the schedule since Arnold Palmer won the inaugural event in 1960. In a previous life it was also a five-round tournament, but since 2012 it has been reduced to the standard four rounds. It kick-starts a series of tournaments in and around California, and sees the PGA Tour get underway in earnest for 2022.
Prize money: $7.6m ($1.21m to the winner)
American Express PGA: The Course
Traditionally held over three courses – the Pete Dye-designed PGA West TPC Stadium Course (par 72, 7113 yards), the PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course (par 72, 7159 yards), and La Quinta (par 72, 7060 yards). The players will play each course once in Rounds 1, 2 and 3 and then will revert to the Stadium Course, exclusively, for Sunday’s final round. Each course has four par 5s, and should remain conducive to low scoring for those players who perform well on the greens. As such, this week is more a test of power over precision off the tee.
260: Patrick Reed (2014)
59: Adam Hadwin (La Quinta, 2017)
61: Patrick Cantlay (Stadium Course, 2021)
59: Harrison Frazar (Nicklaus Course, 2008).
Former course winners taking part
Si Woo Kim
American Express PGA: Highest-ranked players in field
Jon Rahm (1)
Patrick Cantlay (4)
Scottie Scheffler (14)
Tony Finau (17)
Abraham Ancer (20)
American Express PGA: 2021 Result
-23 Si Woo Kim (55/1)
-22 Patrick Cantlay (14/1)
-20 Cameron Davis (80/1)
-19 Tony Finau (20/1)
-15 Abraham Ancer (25/1)
-15 Michael Thompson (125/1)
-15 Doug Ghim (250/1)
🏆 The PGA Tour Heads To Palm Springs This Week For The American Express!
— Golf Discount (@GolfDiscount) January 18, 2022
American Express PGA: The Weather
A clear, dry week is forecast with a daily precipitation forecast of 0%-0%-0%-0% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures will be in the mid-70s, with almost no cloud cover during the week. Maximum wind speeds will reach 11-13mph over the four days.
American Express PGA: Outright Value Bets
These are two each-way outright bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.
Justin Rose $61 with TopSport
Rose is 10-time PGA Tour winner, Major winner, Olympic Gold medallist, and decorated Ryder Cup performer – he has winning experience in spades. Now in his 40’s the Englishman’s win ratio has dropped in recent years (last winning in the US in 2019), but he plays much more sparingly these days, and often cherry-picks the better events. As such, he remains a potent threat, and his last five starts boast three Top 20’s. With plenty of form in the book in California, Rose, to me, seems far too easily dismissed by the layers this week and quotes of 50/1+ look generous. Well worth a bet in what looks an open field (outside of the front two – Rahm & Cantlay)
Jason Day $101 with TopSport
Much that can be said about Rose can be repeated about the Australian, Day. He too is a highly decorated player but one who has failed to find the winners enclosure recently – the last of his 12 PGA Tour titles coming in 2018. But like Rose, Day has huge experience, a good record early in the year on the West coast, and will be perfectly at home in the pro-am environment. A poor run with his health and fitness have been the biggest blight on Day in recent years, but still just 34 he has more wins in him for sure. I’d make the Queenslander nearer the 70/1-80/1 mark, which means there’s a fair bit of juice in his odds this week.
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