Let the West Coast swing begin.
It was an incredible couple weeks in Hawaii, where we saw Harris English get the monkey off his back, and Mr. Walk-In capture his 5th PGA TOUR title. Now, we head to the mainland for the start of the West Coast swing.
The American Express is a unique tournament, as there are usually 3 courses featured throughout the week. But this year, due to COVID-19 precautions, there will only be 2. The Stadium Course at PGA West, and the Nicklaus Course at PGA West will be the 2 stops, and the cut will come after Friday – changing from the usual Saturday cut due to the 3 course rotation.
This field usually lacks firepower – but that isn’t the case this year. 4 of the top 15 in the world are here, including the likes of Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, and Patrick Cantlay.
Joining them are guys like Matty Wolff (also in the top15), Sunjae Im, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, and Lefty. The defending champion is Andrew Landry, who won last years playing by 2 shots, and currently sits at +25000 to re-peat. Pre-tournament favorite Jon Rahm WD’d from the tournament, and no reason was given.
Stadium Course (PGA West)
Pete Dye Design
Nicklaus Course (PGA West)
(Designer in the name)
Both courses feature Bermuda greens.
A quick point. The majority of TOUR players don’t particularly like the Stadium Course. Many think it’s an unfair test of golf…AKA too hard. But Dye had an amazing quote about the course,
“Golf is not a fair game, so why build a course fair?“
Throughout the Stadium Course there are many forced lay-ups (a Dye design special), meaning bombers won’t have a heavy advantage off the tee this week. These forced layups will make iron play critical, as most players will be playing from the same yardages.
Data Golf Information
Course Fit: 1. Trump National Doral, 2. Torrey Pines (South), 3. Trinity Forest GC
Trending (of players in the field): 1. Patrick Reed (Last 3 starts: T10, T3, T21) 2. Patrick Cantlay (1, T17, T13) 3. Patton Kizzire (T10, T32, T7)
% Chance to Win (Baseline, Course History & Fit): 1. Patrick Cantlay, 2. Scottie Scheffler, 3. Patrick Reed
Twilight 9 Card
My 2 big things to consider this week; History and Iron Play. Since many players do not enjoy playing here, I like to back the guys that have seen some success. I’m also going to be looking at SG: Approach & SG: Tee to Green. Let’s get into it
Top 40 – Andrew Landry (+250)
This is unreal value for a guy that has won this event – he also has a runner-up back in 2018. In 2019 he finished T28 following a missed cut at the Sony. Last week, he missed the cut at the Sony – proving he can bounce back at this venue. Recent T4 at the RSM.
Top 20 – Abraham Ancer (+163)
I’m going to let him hurt me again. 2 weeks in a row he’s lost us money, but that first win has to come at some point. His last 2 appearances at this event are both Top 20’s, with one being a solo 2nd last year. He ranks 7th in FIR, and 28th in GIR – that’s pretty good tee-to-green. If he’s bad again this week, he official goes on my shit list.
Top 20 – Adam Hadwin (+300)
I can’t stress enough how much this guy loves this tournament. Before missing last year’s playing due to the birth of his son, his past results since 2016; T6, 2, T3, T2. I mean he has to win it at some point, right? This is too much value to pass up for a guy with this kind of track record around these courses.
Top 20 – Russell Henley (+163)
I talk about this guys iron play whenever he’s in the field. Going back to the well this week. I bet him T10 and T20 last week, and he killed me with a T11 finish. 7th this year on Tour in SG: Approach. Has a tough history at this tournament,
Top 40 – Talor Gooch (+125)
Finished T17 in 2020, and grabbed a solo 4th in 2019. Important to note – his solo 4th was after a MC at the Sony a week before, last week he missed the cut at the Sony. Late last season he showed flashes of good golf with a 4th at the Houston Open, and 5th at the CJ Cup. Was 25th on Tour last year in birdie % from 150-175, which is a stat I like this week.
Top 30 – Sam Burns (+150)
Burnsy hasn’t played in a bit. His last start was in Houston, where he finished T7. Last year he finished T6 at this event, and in 2019 he placed T18. Tough to take into account recent form when his last start was over 2 months ago, but with his finishes here over the last few years, +150 is great value for a Top 30.
Matthew Wolff (+2300) and Scottie Scheffler (+1700). Both guys can make A LOT of birdies, and when the tournament winner is -20 or deeper, that’s something you need to do. Matty will also feel close to home, as he’s a CA kid.
Twilight 9 Card Video
Cover via Golf Channel