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The American Express Betting Preview

The PGA TOUR returns to the mainland after two weeks in Hawaii. The American Express will present a scaled down version, eliminating the famed pro-am portion of the tournament. It will also take place on a single venue, the PGA West Stadium course.

Because of the pro-am, which usually takes place the first three days of the tournament, the event is normally played on La Quinta Country Club and the Nicklaus Tournament courses as well. The American Express will also be played without spectators, due to Covid-19 concerns.

The Course

PGA West’s Stadium Course is a par-72 Pete Dye designed layout and has been back in the course rotation since 2016. The course was deemed too difficult by touring professionals in 1987 and wasn’t used in the tournament from 1988 to 2015. The 7,126 yard track plays to a par 71.

The American Express began as the Palm Springs Classic in 1960 but was changed to the Bob Hope Desert Classic in 1965. The event was unique to the Tour, consisting of five days of play and 90 holes of golf. The tournament was reduced to the standard 72 hole format in 2012.

Arnold Palmer holds the record for wins in The Americans Express with five. His last Tour win came in this tournament in 1973, his fifth victory in the event. Seven players have won the tournament twice, including current Tour members Phil Mickelson and Bill Haas.

Many of the top players skip The American Express because of its pro-am format. Tiger Woods, for example, has never played in the tournament, and recent news regarding his health will keep him out of the 2021 version as well.  Only two players in the top ten in the Official World Golf Rankings are entered in the field.

Kevin Na won last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii with a 21 under par 259, one shot better than Chris Kirk and Joaquin Niemann. Andrew Landry is the defending American Express champion, shooting a 26 under par 262 to beat Abraham Ancer by two shots.

Arnold Palmer holds the record for wins in The Americans Express with five. His last Tour win came in this tournament in 1973, his fifth victory in the event. Seven players have won the tournament twice, including current Tour members Phil Mickelson and Bill Haas.

Betting Lines

Jon Rahm, the 26 year old out of Arizona State leads the betting odds at +650. Rahm is ranked second in the world and is 22nd in the FedEx Cup standings. This is Rahm’s sixth event of the season with a tie for second in the ZOZO Championship @ Sherwood, his best finish. In his last tournament he finished tied for seventh at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The ninth ranked player in the world, Patrick Cantlay, is next in the betting odds at +1400. The winner of the OZOZ Championship @ Sherwood is playing in his seventh event and is currently seventh in the FedEx point standings.

Brooks Koepka, 12th in the world, has only played in one tournament since a seventh place tie at the Masters. That was a missed cut at the Mayakoba Golf Classic the first week in December. The 30 year old is 63rd in the FedEx Cup standings and has odds of +1800 for The American Express.

Last week’s winner Kevin Na is in the field and carries odds of +3300 to get back to back victories. Andrew Landry, the winner of last season’s The American Express, is at odds of +12000. Landry has just one top ten and three missed cuts in eight tournaments in the 2021 season.