Last week the PGA Tour was in Hawaii; now it heads to the West Coast for a swing through the chillier months. La Quinta Country Club, near Palm Springs, California, will host the 2020 American Express Open, hosted by Phil Mickelson, who will play in his first tournament since the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. Other notable names in the field include Rickie Fowler, Francesco Molinari and Tony Finau. The defending champion is Adam Long.
The tournament will send players through PGA West Nicklaus Tournament and La Quinta Country Club’s courses once each and then twice through PGA West Stadium. The cut will come after 54 holes so that the players can go through each course once; the Sunday round will take place on the Stadium course. All three courses are par 72 and run between 7,000 and 7,160 yards; all of the greens feature Bermuda grass. The rough is minimal, so driving to find the right angle toward the pin is more important than landing in the fairway.
Golfers who fare well in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green, particularly on the short par 4s, will do well here — so you should focus on them in your sports betting. We have your contender odds to win the 2020 American Express Open, (100/1 or better) as well as some wager suggestions.
2020 American Express Open Odds & Event Preview
– @ALongShot looks to defend his title – Tournament host @PhilMickelson to make his 2020 debut – @RickieFowler makes his return to PGA West That and more in The First Look @TheAmexGolf. https://t.co/uNYlX9UwTZ— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 14, 2020
Contender Odds to Win the 2020 American Express Open
- Rickie Fowler +1100
- Sungjae Im +1600
- Paul Casey, Tony Finau +2000
- Byeong Hun An, Kevin Kisner +2500
- Billy Horschel +2800
- Cameron Champ, Charles Howell III, Francesco Molinari,
- Matthew Wolff, Scottie Scheffler +3300
- Abraham Ancer, Brendon Todd, Jason Kokrak, Phil Mickelson +4000
- Alex Noren, Brian Harman, J.T. Poston, Lucas Glover,Russell Knox, Ryan Moore, Vaughn Taylor +5000
- Andrew Putnam, Brendan Steele, Chez Reavie, Daniel Berger,
- Denny McCarthy, Harris English, Kevin Na, Rory Sabbatini,Zach Johnson +6600
- Aaron Wise, Danny Lee, Scott Piercy, Sebastian Munoz +8000
- Adam Long, Brian Stuard, Cameron Tringale, Joel Dahmen +10000
Russell Knox has been lights out with his irons lately, gaining strokes on approaching the green in nine of his last ten tournaments. Last week, he was third in the field in that metric, gaining almost six strokes in Hawaii. Knox has played well at this tournament the last two years, cracking the top 30 in both events. He is tenth in par 4 scoring average on holes between 350 and 400 yards in his last three tournaments. His putting was a little iffy the last three tournaments, though, which is why he did not finish even higher. However, he still represents solid value for this tournament.
Francesco Molinari takes on his first competitive round since the European season closed. However, over the past two years, he has been the best golfer in the American Express Open field. He had a bit of a downturn at the close of last season, so his odds are higher than you might expect. However, the odds here are close to what was offered for him at last year’s Masters, so the value is there too.
Paul Casey is tops in this field in strokes gained: tee to green over his last 50 PGA Tour rounds, and he is ranked third in opportunities gained (chances to go below par). You will need a low score to win here, and given how well Casey hits the ball, he could put up some tiny numbers.
Carlos Ortiz (+12500) and Kevin Chappell (+15000) are a pair of interesting long shots. Ortiz played much like Knox in Hawaii, getting solid approach play but then finding that his putter betrayed him. This was Ortiz’s best iron play in several months. He cracked the top 15 at this event seven years ago, however, since 2015 he has missed two cuts and come in at T65. However, he is in the top 20 for birdie or better percentage for his last 24 rounds in this field, and he is ninth in this field in par 5 scoring average over the last three tournaments. Chappell has come in fourth in approach and par 5 scoring average and sixth in birdie or better percentage in his last six tournaments on courses designed by Pete Dye (who is the architect here).