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This week the Tour bid farewell to Hawaii and headed back to the mainland to the Sunshine State, the second of eight stops in California for The American Express. The tournament is held at three different courses, culminating Sunday at the Pete Dye Stadium course in La Quinta.
The American Express has been played under various names since 1960 and is one of the more unique tournaments this season, it is one of two pro-ams and will be played at three different courses — Pete Dye Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course and La Quinta Country Club.
Each pro is paired with an amateur and plays all three courses, with a cut down to the top 65 pros players and ties after 54 holes. It finishes at the Pete Dye Stadium Course.
The weather is forecasted for mostly sunny skies and highs in the low 50s. This is much colder than the last two weekends when the pros were teeing it up in Hawaii, otherwise, the weather should not play much of a factor.
The American Express is held at three different courses but only one will be played twice — the Pete Dye Stadium Course. The course, like the Nicklaus Tournament Course, is a part of PGA West, which is hailed as Western America’s home of golf and has nine different courses.
The Pete Dye Stadium Course was designed by the great Pete Dye and opened in 1986. At the time, it was known to be one of the most difficult courses to play, so much so that Tour players petitioned to have it removed from competition just a year later in 1987.
The course features tons of water, and bunkers and will require the players to use every shot in the bag. In the spirit of competition, all three courses greens will measure no higher than 11 on the stimp meter, helping everyone to score low this week.
Yardages for each course are listed below:
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The total purse of The American Express is $8,000,000. The winner receives 500 FedEx Cup points and a minimum of 24 Official World Golf Ranking points — additional Official World Golf Ranking points can be added based on the tournament’s strength of field.
The champion also receives a two-season exemption on the PGA Tour, as well as inclusion to the 2023 Masters and 2023 PGA Championship, and the 2024 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The tournament field is composed of 156 professional players and their amateurs for the first 54 holes, which may seem like a ton — because it is.
Ten of the top 20 Official World Golf Ranking players will be teeing it up this week and this is the most competitive field we have had in 2023, so not only will the quantity of golf overwhelm, the quality will too.
The current odds-on favorite to win the 2023 American Express is Jon Rahm (+600). Scottie Scheffler (+1000) and Patrick Cantlay (+1100) round out the top three.
Yet again, there is a reason Jon Rahm is the favorite this week. After a comeback win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, his rampage on golf’s leaderboard continues. With how slow the greens will be this week, Jon should be able to putt well enough to take home another win this season.
While Taylor Montgomery didn’t quite come through for me in the top 10 last week, T12 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he is still playing great. In the last eight tournaments he has played, he has finished in the T15 or better in seven of them.
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