Golf betting tips: Preview and tips for the 2022 American Express
The American Express, formerly known as the Desert Classic, CareerBuilder Challenge, Humana Challenge and Bob Hope Classic, is played each January in California. The tournament forms part of the early season West Coast Swing.
In 2012 the tournament changed its format from having five rounds to the more familiar four round tournament. The event is traditionally played over three different courses – TPC Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course (both at PGA West) and the third is La Quinta Country Club.
The Par 72 Pete Dye-designed TPC Stadium Course will continue to serve as the host course. It’s infamous 17th hole is known as “Alcatraz” and has an island green that was inspired by the 17th at TPC Sawgrass.
Historically, courses used in the American Express rank among the easiest annually on the PGA Tour. As with previous editions, those players who wish to contend will need to be aggressive with their approach play, hit the ball close to target and drain plenty putts. Key statistics this week will be Proximity to Hole, Strokes Gained Putting and Birdie Average.
TPC Stadium Course Scorecard (host course)
2021 American Express | Si Woo Kim
Last year, Si Woo Kim birdied two of his final three holes to finish -8 (64) to finish with a total -23 (265). It was enough to secure the 2021 American Express by one stroke from Patrick Cantlay. It was the South Korean’s third win on the PGA Tour.
For the three rounds on the TPC Stadium Course, he finished 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green which translated to a gain of 11.622 strokes against the field average. In particular, his game on approach was on point. Kim finished 2nd in Strokes Gained Approach-The-Green or 50% of his overall strokes gained. Other stats for the week include T38 for Driving Accuracy, T53 for Driving Distance, T1 for GIR and 8th in Strokes Gained Putting.
2020 American Express | Andrew Landry
In 2020, Andrew Landry captured the American Express with a two stroke victory over Abraham Ancer in solo second for his second PGA Tour title. Landry lost a playoff to Jon Rahm in the same tournament in 2018. He closed with back-to-back birdies for a final round -5 (67) giving him a total -26 (262) for the week.
“This is a golf course that has suited me very well in the past and just to look back on some of the things that happened a couple years ago and then now, just to be able to finally get it done”Andrew Landry
Just over three-quarters of his strokes gained on the field for the two rounds on the Stadium Course came from the putter. He finished just inside the Top 10 in Strokes Gained Putting which translated to a gain of 3.184 strokes. Other stats for the tournament include T12 for Driving Accuracy, 28th for Driving Distance, T41 for GIR and 1st for Putts per GIR.
2019 American Express | Adam Long
The 2019 champion, Adam Long captured the title in only his sixth start on Tour. He shot a final round -7 (65) on the Stadium Course to beat playing partners Adam Hadwin and Phil Mickelson by a solitary stroke. Mickelson began the day with a two shot lead and looked odds on to be the wire-to-wire winner, but his putter let him down on the final day.
“It was a huge thrill to play with Phil, I looked up to him my whole life and big fan of his and he couldn’t have been greater to me out there and he was awesome to play with, a lot of fun”Adam Long
Long’s victory earned the PGA Tour rookie $1,062,000 and a two year exemption. Three-quarters of Long’s strokes gained on the field came from the flat-stick. He finished 9th in SG:Putting gaining 3.184 shots on the field average. Other stats for the week include T12 for Driving Accuracy, 28th in Driving Distance, T41 in GIR and 1st in Putts per GIR.
2018 Desert Classic | Jon Rahm
In 2018, Jon Rahm beat Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of a playoff to win his second PGA Tour title. He closed with a final round -5 (67) on the Stadium Course to finish on -22 (266).
The Spaniard’s play from the tee and on approach laid the foundation for his victory. He gained almost 6 strokes for the two rounds on the Stadium Course over the field average. He finished T28 for Driving Accuracy, 5th in Driving Distance, T20 in GIR and 8th in Putts per GIR.
2017 Career Builder Challenge | Hudson Swafford
In 2017, Hudson Swafford won his first PGA Tour tournament at the Career Builder Chalenge beating Adam Hadwin by one shot. On his way to victory Swafford was 1st in Strokes Gained Off-The-Tee and 5th in Strokes Gained Approach-The-Green. Combined these stats yielded a gain of 7.48 strokes over the field average for the two rounds on the host course. He finished the week T61 in Driving Accuracy, 5th in Driving Distance, T1 in GIR and 24th in Putts per GIR.
2016 Career Builder Challenge | Jason Dufner
In 2016, Jason Dufner prevailed in a playoff with David Lingmerth after shooting -25(263) in regulation play. Lady luck played her part in Dufner’s win with an incredible up-and-down in regulation play at the aforementioned “Alcatraz”.
Dufner finished the week T49 for Driving Distance, T5 for Driving Accuracy, T15 for GIR, 14th in Strokes Gained Putting. He was also T18 in Proximity to the Hole and T40 for Scrambling.
This week is a lottery and definitely one to approach with caution. Best advice is to keep bets small or have a bet in running after 36 | 54 holes are completed
American Express Tips & Predictions
Brian Harman 33/1 (E/W) – a regular at the American Express, his las three results in the event read T21-T8-T3. So far this season, the 35-year-old has 5 x Top 25’s from 6 starts including runner-up finishes in both the RSM Classic and World Wide Technology Championship. The left-hander places inside the Top 15 in this week’s Stats Analysis. He is also 23rd on Tour for Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 13th for Scoring Average. If the Georgie native keeps the balance throughout the bag then he should be in the mix. All things considered, good each way value.
Tom Hoge 40/1 (E/W) – sticking with the 33-year-old South Carolina native again this week. Has mixed results at the American Express with his standout finish a solo 2nd in last year’s edition of the tournament. His form ‘cooled’ last week with a T41 in the Sony Open. The week previous he had an eye-catching T3 in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and prior to the Christmas break he had a run of 4 x Top 13 finishes from 6 starts. His consistent form carries over to his stats placing 3rd in this week’s Stats Analysis. Currently 3rd on Tour for Proximity to Hole, which is significant as hitting it stiffer than most matters. Having shorter runs at the hole is a big-plus at a Birdie-fest. Excellent each way value.
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