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Remind me next time

It was another near miss unfortunately for our tips this week, bringing our tally in 2023 to 3 players finishing 1 shot shy of the places in the first two weeks. This week it was the turn of 33/1 tip Taylor Montgomery who bogeyed his 16th hole on Sunday to fall out of the places to finish -12.

KH Lee start woefully on his final round but rallied well to finish -10, followed by Tom Hoge on -8 and the other 2 tips unfortunately missed the cut after really poor first rounds. Another week where the guys who made it through to the weekend had a really solid week but failed to really threaten. Hopefully we turn this around this week...

Si Woo Kim managed to come from 2 shots back to claim his 4th PGA Tour victory over the long time leader Hayden Buckley. Quite interestingly all 4 victories that Si Woo has had on tour, have come at sub 7200 yard, Bermuda courses. One to note in the book for future purposes for sure.

The American Express Betting Odds

odds

From Hawaii, players will travel East to the city known as ‘The Gem of the Desert’ in La Quinta, California where The American Express will be held at the PGA West Private Clubhouse & Golf Courses.

Players will be playing over three golf courses this week; The Stadium Course (TPC Stadium), La Quinta CC and the Nicklaus Tournament Course. The players along with their amateurs (mostly celebrity) as this is a Pro-am event will play on the 3 different courses Thursday-Saturday, there will then be a 54 hole cut and then the final 18 will be played on the Stadium Course.

The event returned to the three course format last year after being trimmed down to being over just the two courses due to COVID restrictions in 2021.

About Stadium Course

  • Par 72
  • 7140 yards
  • Pete Dye design
  • 4 x Par 3s - ranging from 165-223 yards
  • 10 x Par 4s - ranging from 346-471 yards
  • 4 x Par 5s - ranging from 535-591 yards
  • Bermuda greens with overseed of Poa Trivialis
  • Desert style course
  • Fairly small greens
  • Rough is non-existent

About La Quinta CC

  • Par 72
  • 7060 yards
  • Lawrence Hughes design - Damian Pascuzzo (1999/2000)
  • 4 x Par 3s - ranging from 168-206 yards
  • 10 x Par 4s - ranging from 382-469 yards
  • 4 x Par 5s - ranging from 516-547 yards
  • Bermuda greens with overseed of Poa Trivialis
  • Desert style course
  • Fairly small greens
  • Rough is non-existent

About Nicklaus Tournament Course

  • Par 72
  • 7181 yards
  • Jack Nicklaus design
  • 4 x Par 3s - ranging from 165-209 yards
  • 10 x Par 4s - ranging from 364-462 yards
  • 4 x Par 5s - ranging from 527-572 yards
  • Bermuda greens with overseed of Poa Trivialis
  • Desert style course
  • Larger than average greens
  • Rough is non-existent

As I said, the three courses generally look very similar on the eye. All of them present under 7200 yards in distance, all are Par 72s and all off the same amount of Par 3, 4s and 5s. Minimal rough on all courses will leave players with birdies opportunities galore on all courses. The only feature of the Stadium Course that players need to watch out for is the water hazards that offer themselves Off the Tee. Navigating around these and putting the ball in the optimum spot will be one of the trickiest parts of this week, as well as dealing with the stadium like atmosphere especially on the last day!

Just seven of the 30 Par 4s the players will face this week are above 450 yards in length and 12 of the 30 are under 400 yards. Most of the Par 4s on offer this week should be bread and butter for the professionals, with driveable holes aplenty with minimal risk on offer.

Past Winners

Here's a list of the last 6 winners of this tournament, for those looking on the PGA Tour website for these the tournament has gone through a name change pretty regular with it ranging from the Desert Classic and the Career Builders Challenge to The American Express within 6 years.

  • 2022 - Hudson Swafford -23
  • 2021 – Si Woo Kim -23
  • 2020 – Andrew Landry -26
  • 2019 – Adam Long -26
  • 2018 – Jon Rahm -22
  • 2017 – Hudson Swafford -20

A mixed bag of winners in terms of what meets the eye but with winners odds of; 60/1, 150/1, 5001/, 10/1, 80/1 and 150/1 last year its pretty much choose who you like the look of this week regardless of their prices!

Onto the winner’s stats now and it's not the most reliable of stats to go off this week with the only Strokes Gained Data coming from players’ rounds on the Stadium Course. An amount of assumption will be used this week in terms of the other two rounds played.

2021 - Winner Hudson Swafford (–23)

  • 45th OTT          
  • 11th T2G          
  • 21st GIR            
  • 4th APP            
  • 25th ATG          
  • 2nd Putt

2021 Winner - Si Woo Kim (–23)

  • 10th OTT
  • 1st T2G
  • T1 GIR
  • 2nd APP
  • 16th ATG
  • 8th Putt

2020 Winner – Andrew Landry (-26)

  • 5th OTT
  • 13th T2G
  • T7 GIR
  • 9th APP
  • 60th ATG
  • 6th Putt

2019 Winner – Adam Long (-26)

  • 40th OTT
  • 46th T2G  
  • 41st GIR
  • 43rd APP
  • 30th ATG
  • 9th Putt

2018 Winner – Jon Rahm (-22)

  • 4th OTT            
  • 12th T2G          
  • 20th GIR           
  • 7th APP            
  • 61ST ATG          
  • 28th Putt

2017 Winner – Hudson Swafford (-20)

  • 1ST OTT           
  • 7TH T2G            
  • 1ST GIR             
  • 6th APP            
  • 71ST ATG          
  • 44th Putt

Average stats for the past 6 winners – Average Score -23

  • 17th OTT          
  • 15th T2G          
  • 15th GIR           
  • 12th APP          
  • 43rd ATG          
  • 16th Putt

As I said at the top of this section, these stats are only derived from players playing the Stadium Course so it is only a glimpse of what went on at those weeks. However, we can see from the above stats and the ones excluding Adam Long that players are tested here with their T2G games and are rewarded by having tonnes of birdie opportunities if they are on song with their Driver/Wedges.

SG: Putting in the last 4 years has also been crucial with the winners’ putting average also showing the same, so a decent week with the flat stick will also be needed to convert the chances created. Majority of the tournaments played so far this season have mostly been on Bermuda Greens, so casting your eye over the PA/SG: Putting stats this year will give you a good picture on player’s performances on these surfaces, but don't be too fooled, as these will play a little different with the Poa overseed that has been grown on them this time of the year.

Stats to Consider

  • OTT
  • APP/Proximity to hole
  • Putting
  • Par 4
  • A little course form/previous form on desert golf courses.

I shall look for strong OTT game for my selections to position themselves correctly off the tee to optimise their approach play and too avoid any water hazards presented in their 2 rounds on the Stadium Course. Fairways are wide and rough is short here at all 3 courses, so accuracy will not be on my list this week, bringing to the front the streaky players in mind.

APP/Proximity and Putting reasons I have covered above to optimise the birdie fest this most likely will turn out as. Par 4 scoring i have included in my list and will be taking seriously this week. Par 4s nearly take 55% of the holes this players will face across the 3 courses this week and as i have stated above there are some really short ones for the guys to attack this week. A sneaky look at the consistent types of Par 4s and those who regularly take advantage of the sub 400 yard Par 4s.

The American Express Betting Tips

5 more each way tips for you guys this week, all taken at 8 places, 10pts split across them evenly at 1pt e/w unless stated otherwise. Good Luck!

 

  • Tom Hoge 40/1
singleSelection
  • Taylor Montgomery 45/1
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  • Sahith Theegala 55/1
singleSelection
  • KH Lee 55/1
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  • Luke List 110/1
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