The Hawaiian swing is over, and the PGA Tour is back on the mainland, making its annual stop in La Quinta.
We get three courses in the Palm Springs area, ending with the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. We’re also treated to extra golf this weekend, as each of the 156 golfers get 54 holes before the cut instead of just 36. And we should see low scores, as each of the last 14 winners at The American Express (formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic) has been at least 20 under par.
We’re also getting the celebrity pro-am portion of the tournament back after it was suspended last year because of COVID-19.
Favorites to Win The American Express
- Jon Rahm (+600)
- Patrick Cantlay (+800)
- Scottie Scheffler (+1800)
- Tony Finau (+2000)
- Sung-jae Im (+2000)
- Corey Conners (+2200)
- Talor Gooch (+2500)
- Abraham Ancer (+2500)
- Matthew Wolff (+3000)
Of course, Jon Rahm is on top of the favorite’s board. He’s the world’s number one player, he won here in 2018, and he just finished in second at Kapalua, shooting what would have been a record -33, if not for the -34 recorded by Cameron Smith. So any bet on Rahm this weekend is a good bet.
Patrick Cantlay is just behind Rahm, and also for very good reason. He just finished fourth at Kapalua, and last year at this tournament, he finished ninth. That followed his runner-up status in 2019, and in that tournament, he recorded a final round 61 on the Stadium Course.
Other Golfers to Watch
Scottie Scheffler doesn’t have a PGA Tour win yet, but it’s only a matter of time. The 25-year-old finished fourth at Mayakoba in November and second at the Hero World Challenge in December. When he first teed off at The American Express in 2020, he finished third and recorded a 23-under par.
Sung-jae Im is only 23, but he’s making his fourth consecutive start at The American Express, and twice he’s finished in the top-10. Two weeks ago at Kapalua, he finished tied for eighth, following up on a strong finish to 2021, when he won the Shriners Children’s Open in October and was top-10 at the CJ Cup.
At the bottom of the above board, paying +3000 is 22-year-old Matthew Wolff. He finished 2021 as a runner-up at the Shriners, tied for fifth at Mayakoba, and tied for 11th at the Houston Open. This is his first start at The American Express, but he ranks 11th on Tour in birdie average, meaning that he will get the kind of low score that is needed to win here on Sunday.
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