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Desert Classic betting tips

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 and Nicklaus Tournament Course, both at PGA West and the third is La Quinta Country Club. However, last year, as a direct response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the tournament was played over the two courses at PGA West.

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.

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

Patrick Cantlay golf betting tipsPatrick Cantlay 9/1 (Win) – the California native has teed it up twice previously at the American Express. He finished T9 in 2019 and last year shot a final round, course record 61 on the Stadium Course on his way to a solo 2nd finish. The reigning FedEx Cup Champion has only played once this season, finishing solo 4th in the Sentry TOC. Hasn’t played enough rounds to register any stats, but we don’t need stats to tell us what we already know – that he is a supremely talented golfer. Has unfinished business at the American Express. Standout pick this week.

Lucas Glover golf betting tipsLucas Glover 66/1 (E/W) – a regular at the American Express, his best result in the recent past is a T12 in 2019. Dusted the cobwebs off nicely for 2022 with a T5 in last week’s Sony Open. Around Waialae Country Club he was an eye catching 1st in GIR and 3rd in Proximity To Hole. A solid all-round game puts the South Carolina native just outside the Top 20 in this week’s Stats Analysis. Hitting it stiffer than most matters, especially this week, and if he brings last week’s approach play to California he could make some noise. All things considered, good each way value.

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