American Express Championship

The Course(s)

This week is a unique Pro-Am format played throughout three courses in Southern California, with a 54-hole cut after each golfer has played each course once.  These courses are among the easiest on TOUR, and I expect extremely low scores in near perfect conditions.  Due to the Pro-Am format, rounds take much longer than normal, with some being over seven hours long.  There is only shot link data for the Stadium Course, so we are more or less flying blind on the other two courses.  The Stadium Course is where the fourth round will be played for all golfers who make the cut.

Top 20/10/Win

Sungjae Im (-110 to Top 20)

Despite missing the cut last week, I am not derailed from backing Sungjae this week even in the slightest.  No one on TOUR makes more birdies than Sungjae Im, and he has shown a great affinity for this tournament, going 3/3 with finishes of T12-T10-T12.  He is my pick to win this week and I expect him to be in the thick of contention all weekend.

Scottie Scheffler (-110 to Top 20)

The Texas Flood is long overdue for a PGA TOUR win, and this might just finally be the week it happens.  A podium finisher at the Amex in 2020, Scottie will feast at this week’s birdie fest and will look to build upon his scorching hot run of form (4-T2-57-2).  He is guy I am very high on and will look to bet all year long.

Abraham Ancer (+140 to Top 20)

A similar handicap as above, Ancer’s performance last week gives us a great discount this week.  Ancer has feasted at the Amex with three consecutive Top 20 finishes and is now underpriced because of two poor weeks in Hawaii.  I fully expect him to break out of his mini-slump and contend once again in Palm Springs

Matthew Wolff (+190 to Top 20)

The Southern California native should be ready to roll this week after an excellent fall season.  After some mental health struggles, Wolff appears to be back to looking like a future superstar.  He plays extremely well at easy courses

Taylor Gooch (+120 to Top 20)

Gooch is playing like a world class player at the moment and is returning to a tournament where he has never missed the cut and boasts consecutive finishes of T21-T17-4.  Look for this to continue once again this week

Others to consider: Johnny Vegas (+300), Taylor Moore (+315), Hayden Buckley (+350), Jason Day (+400)

The Big Fade:

Russell Henley

This is a classic devastation spot and one of my favorite golf bets I’ve ever made.  Russ blew a 5-shot lead with 9 holes to play last week, and now heads to a tournament where he has missed four straight cuts and never finished better than T49th.  I think the Pro-Am format will only add to his misery, and at bare minimum, this is a free roll on his mental game.  If you shop around, you can find matchups of Gooch, Ancer, and Seamus Power over Russell Henley, all of which are better course fits and in my opinion, better players

FULL CARD:

Sungjae Im: 0.75U to Top 20; 0.25U to Top 10; 0.15U to Win

Scottie Scheffler: 0.5U to Top 20; 0.2U to Top 10; 0.15U to Win

Abraham Ancer: 0.5U to Top 20; 0.5U over Henley

Taylor Gooch: 0.5U to Top 20; 0.5U over Henley; 0.1U to Win

Matthew Wolff: 0.5U to Top 20; 0.15U to Win

Seamus Power: 1U over Henley

Jhonattan Vegas: 0.33U to Top 20; 0.05U to Win

Taylor Moore: 0.25U to Top 20; 0.05U to Win

Jason Day: 0.2U to Top 20; 0.05U to win

Hayden Buckley: 0.2U to Top 20; 0.05U to win

Hudson Swafford: 0.05U to Win

Michael Thompson: 0.05U to Win

ONE AND DONE

Taylor Gooch

Sony Open Recap

It was a truly terrible week encapsulated perfectly by Hideki winning the entire tournament.  All around, a poorly capped card.  Onto the next one!

Corey Conners (Solo 11th)

Outside of a terrible third round plagued by a bogey-double bogey start, Conners was dialed in as usual with his ball-striking, finishing in 11th place, falling out of the Top 10 due to a three-putt par on the 18th hole, followed by a Matt Kuchar birdie.  A few more putts and a better start to his third round and this could have been his week.

Webb Simpson (T61)

Webb reportedly switched to a new swing over his short off-season and looked noticeably uncomfortable this week.  Making the cut on the number, Webb played even worse throughout the weekend, tanking the DFS lineups and betting cards of many.  Very disappointing week, and a situation worth monitoring throughout the rest of the year.  

Abraham Ancer (MC)

Ancer was -7 through 27 holes and looked poise to make a charge into the Top 10 going into the weekend.  Instead, Abe played the next nine holes at 4 over par, highlighted by blading a green side bunker shot out of bounds, leading to a double bogey and an eventual missed cut.  A needed reminder that a seemingly good bet is always one bad shot away from being a loser.  Look for him to bounce back strong this week.

Charles Howell III (T34)

Another frustrating player who outside of his second round of 63, did virtually nothing the rest of the tournament.  Too many missed putts and crippling mistakes off the tee.

Marc Leishman (T34)

Extremely poor week from the Aussie who played the Par 5’s 8 under par and did essentially nothing else productive for the other 64 holes.  Just enough to tease a Top 20 finish but an all-around poor effort.

Fade of Hideki Matsuyama (Winner)

The fade of the week proved the doubters extremely wrong, participating in a “bonafide putting contest” with his best putting performance of his entire career.  Tip of the cap to Hideki who chased down Russell Henley on Sunday.

Final Numbers

-4 Units

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