The PGA Tour continues this week and after a lengthy perios in Asia, Mexico and Hawaii, the tour returns to mainland United States this week, California specifically. TPC Stadium Course at PGA West will host the American Express this weekend, a celebrity Pro-Am with a unique format.
See our preview and tips for the upcoming tournament below.
The Western swing will see California host four tournaments and Arizona host one in the lead up to the WGC-Mexico Championship in late February. The Western swing always holds some of the most exciting tournaments of the year in the likes of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.
The American Express will be the centre of attention this week, but with just $6,700,000 up for grabs, the field is quite light on talent.
Five time major winner Phil Mickelson will be making his 2020 debut at the American Express. He will not only be playing in the event, but he will also serve as tournament host with his charity, The Mickelson Foundation, named as the host organisation. Mickelson hasn’t played in a PGA Tour tournament since November, so he sits pretty low in the betting markets.
At the very top of those markets sits the No.22 ranked player in the world, Rickie Fowler. Fowler has been in good touch to start the 2020 PGA Tour season and will be competing in his second tournament since the New Year. Alongside Fowler in the ‘top chances’ category sit Paul Casey, Sungjae Im, Tony Finay, Francesco Molinari Billy Horschel, and young gun Matthew Wolff.
One of the most interesting aspects of the American Express is that it is played over three different courses. Each player will be paired with a amateur and compete across three different courses on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of competition. The bottom half of the field as well as all of the amateurs will then be dropped as the top 70 players return to TPC Stadium Course at PGA West for the final round on Sunday.
The TPC Stadium Course at PGA West was designed in 1986 by famous golf course designer Pete Dye. This year’s version of the event will hold extra significance as the PGA Tour pays tribute to Dye, who passed away just last week. The course is a 7,113 yard, Par 72, which is famous for the Par 3 17th named ‘Alcatraz’, inspired by the 17th at TPC Sawgrass.
The other two courses in the rotation are La Quinta Country Club (7,060 yard, Par 72) and the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West (7,159 yard, Par 72).
Love the look of young South Korean Sungjae Im here. The 21-year-old has had a stellar start to the season, racking up seven made cuts and five top 25 finishes from seven tournaments this season. He was good at the Sony Open last week, finishing T21 and had a 2nd place finish at the Sanderson Farms and a T3 at the ZOZO Championship earlier in the season.
He is arguably the most consistent golfer on tour at the moment as he is the highest ranked player on the Fed Ex Cup standings without a win. Im was also good at the Desert Classic last season, finishing T12 after shooting four rounds under par to finish -17. Should go well this weekend.
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