Our attention turns to California as we identify our top American Express picks. The American Express is played on three courses in rotation on the first three days of this pro-am tournament. The host course is PGA Stadium West which has a par of 72 and will stage the final round on Sunday. The other courses on the rotation are PGA West Tournament Course (Par 72) and La Quinta Country Club (Par 72). The three venues are resort courses. That means the fairways are generally forgiving and the rough should not pose any problems with second shots.
In the first two events of the season, an analysis of key skills helped us identify Cameron Smith and Russell Henley in our picks. Smith won the Tournament of Champions and Henley lost in a play-off to Hideki Matsuyama in the Sony Open last week. With three host courses that have different features, the skills profile of potential winners is not so clear-cut.
However, taking the format into account, here are some key skills for potential winners this week.
Strokes Gained On the Green
American Express 2022 Picks – Winner, Top 10, & Sleepers
Jon Rahm (+600)
Rahm is the highest world-ranked player in the field and combines tournament form with current form. The Spanish player won the event in 2018 so must have the personality to not be put off by partners who don’t earn a living from playing golf. Rahm was also second behind Cameron Smith in the season-opening Tournament of Champions. He was the leading player in proximity to the hole with approaches and greens in regulation and shot four rounds in the 60’s.
Each course used this week is relatively short and more designed for amateurs than professionals. We can expect slow play but low scoring. Players must have the temperament to deal their amateur partners obvious shortcomings . The par fives are within the reach of just about every pro in two shots and approach shots to the some par 4s will be less than 100 yards. This profile makes Rahm the obvious pick for the outright winner of the tournament.
Best Value Top 10 Pick
Justin Rose (+5000)
In some ways, Rose is the forgotten man of professional golf. The former world number one and winner of the US Open in 2013 won the last of his 10 PGA Tour titles in January 2019. However, he is still playing consistent golf and posts regular top 20 finishes. Rose has been through a lot in his career so can take playing slow rounds alongside amateurs in his stride.
Potential Sleeper Pick
Cameron Tringale (+6000)
Tringale doesn’t have an outstanding tournament record but he has played in every renewal since 2011. That suggests he is not fazed by the format and should be a relaxed golfer. Tringale was one of the most consistent players at the end of last year without actually winning a tournament. His skills profile is not outstanding but at the moment his game has few flaws.
For the full list of odds for the outright winner of the American Express, you should visit https://nj.pointsbet.com/sports/golf