Preview: The American Express 2022

Time for birdies, birdies and more birdies in the desert!

Pro-am field is up and running tomorrow morning on three tracks before heading to Pete Dye’s Stadium Course to determine the winner on Sunday.

The Bob Hope always is a wonderful distraction during the dog days of winter!

Enjoy!

The American Express 2022

Pete Dye Stadium Course (host)

La Quinta, California

Host CoursePete Dye Stadium Course
Yards (per official scorecard):7,158
Par:72 (36-36)
Greens:Tifdwarf Bermuda; 5,000 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter:Around 10.5′.
Rough:Tifgreen Bermuda at 2″.
Bunkers/Water Hazards:90-plus (water in play on 7 holes).
Architect(s):Pete Dye (1986).
Purse:$7.6 million ($1.368 winner) plus 500 FedExCup points.
Defending Champion:Si Woo Kim (-23).
Multiple Champion(s) Entered:Bill Haas (2015, 2010); Phil Mickelson (2004, 2002).
72 Hole Tournament Record: Current Rotation262; Andrew Landry (2020) & Adam Long (2019).
72 Hole Tournament Record: All Time260: Patrick Reed (2014).
Course Record:61; Patrick Cantlay (2021).
Fact of the Week:Johnny Miller (1975-76) is the only winner to repeat.
Fact of the Week II:Only six international winners but three of the last 11.
  
Nicklaus Tournament Course (NT) 
Yards (per official scorecard):7,147
Par:72 (36-36)
Greens:TifEagle Bermuda; 7,000 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter:Around 10.5′.
Rough:Tifgreen Bermuda at 2″.
Bunkers/Water Hazards:90-plus bunkers (water in play on 5 holes).
Architect(s):Jack Nicklaus (1987).
  
La Quinta Country Club 
Yards (per official scorecard):7,060
Par:72 (36-36)
Greens:Bermuda; 7,000 square feet on average.
Stimpmeter:Around 10.5′.
Rough:Tifgreen Bermuda at 2″.
Architect(s):Lawrence Hughes (1959).

Notes:

  • Field of 156; pro-am.
  • 54 hole cut after playing each course once.
  • Top 70 and ties play the final round at the Stadium Course.

2021-2022 Season Winners

EventWinner
Fortinet ChampionshipMax Homa
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSam Burns
Shriners Children’s OpenSungjae Im
CJ CUP @ SUMMITRory McIlroy
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPHideki Matsuyama
Bermuda ChampionshipLucas Herbert (first TOUR win)
Mayakoba ChampionshipViktor Hovland
Hewlett Packard Houston OpenJason Kokrak
The RSM ClassicTalor Gooch (first TOUR win)
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsCameron Smith
Sony Open in HawaiiHideki Matsuyama (2)

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details on those who play well here.

Event Winners:

Year/Player/Score * – PlayoffNotes
2021 Si Woo Kim  (-24)  Played the Stadium Course bogey free in 54 holes; defeated Patrick Cantlay by a shot.
2020 Andrew Landry (-26)Equaled the tournament scoring record as he won by two over Abraham Ancer.
2019 Adam Long (-26)Won in his first appearance and only sixth TOUR start.
2018 Jon Rahm    (-22)Defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff.
2017 Hudson Swafford (-20)Posted the worst winning score since 2007 to win defeat Adam Hadwin by a shot.
2016 Jason Dufner (-25)Defeated David Lingmerth in a playoff to win for the first time on the current rotation of courses.
2015 Bill Haas (-22)Final tournament using Palmer Private in the rotation.

Last Time – Sony Open in Hawaii

Thoughts on Chalk (My plays will be obvious)

Cameron Smith (+1000): Smoking hot lava fire and the 2020 champ in a playoff. How can you NOT? Well, in 2020 he won in shite conditions (windy and rainy) so there’s that. Surely he can’t just show up and post another 30-odd birdies? The law of averages must kick in at some point? Right??? JT did it with 59 and the tournament record… They sure kicked in. MC.

Webb Simpson (+1600): Wyndham West minus the win. Short, birdies, Bermuda and opens his season annually here (or Kapalua). Comfy as it gets. First time in EIGHT YEARS didn’t hit the top 20. T61.

Sungjae Im (+1600): Another week, another event and another chance to rack up another million birdies. He should have it figured out by now as this is start No. 4. Nope. MC and nothing better than T16 here. Message received.

Hideki Matsuyama (+1800): Dove in last week on a track where he had a TON of big results. No top 10 here as T12 is his best. I’ll save my money for Scottsdale. His best is now WIN. I would have had MOAR MONEY for Scottsdale! D’OH!

Marc Leishman (+2000): Never MC here. Ever. Never won or finished second either. Nice warm up with T10 last week. Let’s do it again! Top 10 ticket. T36 – ticket lit on fire.

Corey Conners (+2500): Posted 62 on Bermuda in his last start at RSM and has been in the mix here. The question will be can he make enough putts to pay off his fantastic Tee-to-Green numbers? T2 GIR and T47 Putts per GIR. Opened and closed with 64s for 11th.

Kevin Na (+2800): He’ll walk in his fair share of putts again this week and has defended enough times to know the drill. Top 10. Opened with 61 but faded to T20. Another loss!

Talor Gooch (+3000): He turned 30 in November and is playing here for the 5th time. Top 10, Top 20. T27. Sigh.

33-1 or Worse Select Opinions

Abraham Ancer (+3300): Hope he’s in the field next week as he’ll be second choice to Rahm…MC

Kevin Kisner (+3500): Would have preferred him NOT to have hit the top 10 last week! Inflated number but his four rounds this week will give me a clue on what 2022 has lined up for Kiz. Talked myself out of him in OAD and here! #consistent. T3

Harris English (+3500): Bit quiet since the shoulder deal. T55

Russell Henley (+3500): Already done the deed here and fired T11 last year. Bump it top 10 and a win ticket this time around.PLEASE RESPECT MY PRIVACY AT THIS TIME.

Seamus Power (+5000): Just in fantastic form so take a Top 20 and don’t sweat. T3 easy peasy.

Billy Horschel (+5000): Winning at Wentworth suggests he’s confident in navigating his golf ball all nine ways. Making one bogey here last year after a 5-year absence suggests he’s ready to take the next step. Win, Top 10, Top 20. T36 and three more burners.

Charles Howell III (+5500): The Landlord. Top 20. Mai Tai’s for all. T36 and ice waters.

Maverick McNealy (+5500): Loves coastal golf. Top 10, Top 20. T27 and my bleeding continues.

Cameron Davis (+6000): His top 10 was also in 2020 with poor weather. Not much room for him to swing it here. T27

Si Woo Kim (+6000): Save this Dye Dawg for Pete’s Stadium Course next week. T55

Joel Dahmen (+6600): Seaside soother. Top 20. Sunk cost. MC.

Brendan Steele (+8000): He’s led the event after 54 holes in terrible weather in 2020 and perfect weather in 2021. Top 10. MC as the streak halts.

Keith Mitchell (+9000): 3 way action as well. Gotta have a couple live longer shots this week based on the history of the event.T7 and recovery begins!

Funny Money

Tom Hoge +10000 – lovely all-or-nothing – MC

Denny McCarthy +10000 – automatic play on Bermuda – T48

Adam Long +11000 – love the form – MC

Hudson Swafford +15000 – has run hot here before – T48

JJ Spaun +16000 – starting to find a bit of consistency – MC

Kramer Hickok +16000 – bit of breeze will be ok with him – T20

Mark Hubbard +20000 – gut play on 2021 form – MC

Satoshi Kodaira +40000 – to make the cut – best of the bunch T12

This Week – The American Express

The pro-am returns!

La Quinta returns!

Just like last week, 11-under ain’t gonna pay any bills again this week so find guys who can and will go low.

The cut in the last two events with La Quinta in play have been NINE under and NINE under. The record is 10-under so there is still room to grow!

All three tracks are played once and the final round returns to the host Pete Dye Stadium Course for the Sunday shootout.

Since the pro-am is back, holes won’t be cut in perilous positions, rough isn’t grown up and greens are at AUTOMATIC GET IT TO THE HOLE DON’T LEAVE IT SHORT speeds.

Having more than a handful of bogeys this week means 25-plus birdies and/or a few eagles to contend. As is the case in most shootouts, those who hit the most GIR have the most chances to hole birdies.

Each course won’t reach 7,200 yards and yet all have four Par-5 holes. Better take advantage!

This is one of the most difficult events to handicap because so many guys can and will get healthy this week. Having the mindset to go low on some of the easiest courses on TOUR will free all the thoughts stuck between the ears.

Don’t forget really good players destroy easy courses as well! Rounds in the 70s need not apply again this week. For those of you who want ROUGH, HARD CONDITIONS, ETC., next week Torrey Pines South will provide a bit of that.

Relax. Enjoy the desert. Enjoy birdies. Let the guys get warmed up!

Good luck!

Thoughts on Chalk (My plays will be obvious)

Jon Rahm (+600): Never crazy about monster favorites in a required shootout. If you need more evidence just check what happened at Kapalua! I’m not crazy about betting favorites anyhow but there will be SOME exceptions throughout the season.

Patrick Cantlay (+900): I saw nothing at Kapalua that would sway me the other direction. Course record 61 (by two) last year and 65-61 close for his second top 10 suggests he enjoys the desert. His record at TPC Summerlin completely reinforces this angle. I like 9-1 more than 6-1!

Scottie Scheffler (+2000): You ain’t until you have and he will, at some stage! Too much talent. Too many low ones. Too many everything. I was convinced it was going to be Yewstin but here we are. MC last year still is puzzling.

Sungjae Im (+2200): Puzzling hiccup last week after just a three bogey week at Kapalua. The requirement is to make birdies and nobody made more in the 2021 season than Im. Plays every week so three in a row to open shouldn’t bother him one bit. Top 10 ticket.

Tony Finau (+2500): Co-54 hole leader last year when he was still answering the question of when is his next win coming. He has no problem going low but the question is can he do it all four days. #Putter.

Corey Conners (+2800): Gained almost six shots on the field on approach last week and that won’t hurt this week either. Greens are pure and that won’t hurt either. Top 10.

Abraham Ancer (+2800): Each week we have a form vs. course form discussion to hammer out. Ancer destroys the SC, mostly on Sundays, but hasn’t fired recently on TOUR. I’m hoping the two previous starts in Hawaii have knocked out the kinks and the familiar desert back drop kicks his game back into gear. Top 10.

Talor Gooch (+2800): I keep forgetting he won RSM to close the first part of the season. The first one allows the big SIGH and it’s ok to go spend a few of them dollars!

33-1 or Worse Select Opinions

Russell Henley (+3500): Exactly his price last week that I was all over but we know how that played out! I like him more next week at Torrey Pines, another site of 54 hole magic recently for him, as opposed for having to make 26 more birdies this week.

Patrick Reed (+4000): Former champ who played the final 54 holes at Kapalua well will have to have a career week ball-striking to win again.

Matthew Wolff (+4000): Will not and cannot talk you out of him and I’m going in at this price as well. Loves a bit of desert golf (see Las Vegas the last two years) and is shit fire hot. 3 way action. Win, Top 10 and Top 20.

Seamus Power (+4000): In the form of his life for the last almost 12 months. Nothing stopping him again this week from another top 10.

Si Woo Kim (+5000): Only Johnny Miller has defended. Impossible to go back-to-back on courses which give up this many low scores. Another top 25 this season wouldn’t surprise me though.

Rickie Fowler (+5000): Worth a punt at this price after seeing him post 21-under after three rounds at The Summit Club. Opening his season here for the third time in three years and is 29-under his last two visits. 3 way action.

Cameron Tringale (+5500): Form vs. Course Form Part II this week! T43 is his recent best here.

Will Zalatoris (+5500): Something to be said that his top 10s recently are majors or WGC events. This doesn’t qualify haha.

Michael Thompson (+8000): Converging GREAT trends! T5 last week and two top 10s in his last three here including T5 in 2021. Top 10 again!

Luke List (+9000): Veteran bomber T17 or better in four of his last six to close 2021 but his record here is less than stellar.

Funny Money

Adam Hadwin (+9000): For the brand HFC; desert dawg.

Bassy Munoz (+11000): Super putter on a wide open desert track.

Hayden Buckley (+11000): No wind? I’m in. Quietly stacking early paper this season.

Adam Svensson (+125000): Some of his best rounds and finishes on TOUR are at Sony and AMEX. This week is AMEX.

Doug Ghim (+14000): 5 straight paydays on TOUR plus T1 GIR and T5 here last year.

Brendan Steele (+15000): His backyard. Home game.

Francesco Molinari (+20000): T12 or better in three of five here. Season opener again. Top 10 and Top 20 just in case!

Henrik Norlander (+22500): Hit it great here last year for T12.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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