The PGA Tour continues in the sunshine this week but it’s back on the mainland for The American Express.
This event will be hosted over three courses; TPC Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course & La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, California.
The 155 field will be competing around these three tracks, all par 72 desert layouts for the $7.6m prize pot with the winner collecting the title and $1.2m.
Again, just like last week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, the Top 65 including ties will make the cut and progress to play more golf over the weekend.
The weather is forecast to be sunny and warm with only light to moderate breezes so conditions look ideal for another birdie fest this week.
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf with live coverage starting at 5pm GMT on Thursday evening.
Just before I continue this week with the selections I just want to say that with it just being the start of a new year I think it’s always clever and best to be observant and keep an eye on the radar.
With The Masters fast approaching in April we will see plenty of action with all the big names involved as they sharpen up for Augusta. It can be a minefield singling out winners at golf especially with fields like this week, narrowing down 155 players can be tricky at the best of times but even more so at the start of the year as we get a good picture of what’s what.
It requires a certain level of patience, picking a winner at the golf as you all know only to well.
I’ll be doing my homework as per usual to continue on from last year's amazing effort so let’s start with a winner this weekend in California.
For my first and main selection for The American Express, I’m going to single out the player who collected for us the last time I selected him, not once, but twice in one week, Patrick Cantlay 9/1 EW Bet365.
The 29 year old from Long Beach, California could well be the local hero this week. Cantlay simply adores playing in his home Golden State and won the Zozo Championship in 2020 when defeating Jon Rahm in a tight battle. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of that this weekend at La Quinta.
The World No.4, current FedEx Champion and PGA Player of the Year was runner up at this event last year where he finished with an amazing final round reading 61 on the scorecard.
Cantlay plays fewer tournaments than most but looked impressive last time out at The Sentry Tournament of Champions where he finished 4th after returning from a three month break.
Last year,as well as the FedEx Cup credentials, Cantlay was also victorious at The BMW Championship and The Memorial Tournament. He can continue to impress just as he did last year with yet another victory in front of his home supporters.
For my next suggestion I’m going to advise Sungjae Im 22/1 EW Bet365.
The young 23 year old kid from South Korea will take to this desert track like a duck to water. He won in October, just a few months back on a desert track when winning the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin so conditions will suit this talented kid.
I’m not going to allow the missed cut last weekend at the Sony Open in Hawaii to put me off as Sungjae managed a very respectable 8th at The Tournament of Champions the week before at the first event of the year.
Sungjae Im had an excellent run in to end 2021, not only winning the Shriners but he also finished 3rd at The BMW Championship on the PGA Tour. He was 9th at The CJ Cup and 8th at The Rocket Mortgage Classic and comes here as the World’s 25th ranked player, a figure I’m sure will be more like Top 10 by the end of this year. That could take a boost this weekend with another win in the desert for Sungjae Im.
For my next pick I’m liking the look of Talor Gooch, 30/1 EW Betfair.
A player I selected last week but was way short of the mark, finishing on -12 , earning him 27th place. I’m willing to keep the faith in the 30 year old from Oklahoma to come up with the goods this week in California.
Gooch finished last year on a high when winning The RSM Classic and can kick start his 2022 with an early victory.
Gooch was in fine form for the latter part of 2021 with six Top 20 finishes in his last eight attempts, that’s impressive stuff .
The two Top 5 finishes worth a mention were 4th at the Fortinet Championship and 5th at The CJ Cup.
I just have a feeling Talor Gooch is going to notch up another victory anytime soon and I don’t want to miss out. I can’t pick him every week so come on Talor, make it quick and back up that maiden PGA Tour Title with another victory at a fairly decent price.
Sungjae Im v Scottie Scheffler
For my final selection it’s the customary matchbet and this week in the desert I’m liking the look of Sungjae Im again but this time to beat Scottie Scheffler over the 72holes, 1/1 Nap Bet365.