The American Express Opens The California Swing On PGA Tour

Written By Fairway Jay on January 20, 2022
Golf fans and sports bettors in California are gearing up for the American Express PGA event

Following two events in Hawaii including last week’s Sony Open won by Hideki Matsuyama in a playoff over Russell Henley, the PGA Tour West Coast Swing heads to La Quinta, CA for The American Express.

The tournament is a Pro-Am event held over three golf courses with Sunday’s final round held at the Stadium Course designed by Pete Dye. 

The American Express tournament starts Jan. 20 and will be the first of three consecutive events in the Golden State with the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego and another Pro-Am event at Pebble Beach to follow. 

Then the Tour heads to Phoenix before returning to Pacific Palisades for The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. 

The American Express will be the only PGA Tour event in the California Swing to require proof of vaccination from spectators.

Odds, favorites and players to watch

All pro golfers will be paired with amateurs for the first three rounds.

There is a cut after 54 holes, and the low 70 pros (and ties) will play their final round at the Stadium Course at PGA West. 

  • PGA West (Pete Dye Stadium Course): 7,158 yards, Par 72
  • La Quinta Country Club: 7,060 yards, Par 72
  • PGA West (Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course): 7,147 yards, Par 72

All three courses have Bermuda fairways and greens. 

Odds to win courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Jon Rahm

(+600): The reigning US Open champion is ranked No. 1 in the world. Oh, and the 27-year-old Spaniard won the 2018 American Express tournament with a score of 22-under par. His last appearance in the event was a 6th place finish in 2019. 

Patrick Cantlay

(+750): The 2021 PGA Tour Player of the Year won the FedExCup with a 1-shot victory over Jon Rahm in the Tour Championship. Cantlay also shot 61 on Sunday in the 2021 American Express to finish runner-up and 1-shot behind winner Si Woo Kim.

Cantlay is currently ranked No. 4 in the world. He was born in Long Beach and was a National Player of the Year winner at UCLA. Cantlay became World Number 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in 2011 before he decided to forego his final two years of college eligibility to turn pro in 2012. 

Tony Finau

(+2400): Finau has contended in this event each of the last two years with a best finish of 4th in 2021. He won the BMW Championship in the FedExCup Playoffs last year and is up to No. 17 in the world rankings.

Finau is one to watch on the California Swing as he finished 2nd in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last year and runner-up in a playoff defeat in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera.  

Will Zalatoris

(+4600): The 2021 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year nearly made history with a runner-up finish in The Masters last year on his debut at Augusta National. The San Francisco native is ranked No. 37 in the world, and why not a breakthrough win and first PGA Tour title in his debut in The American Express? 

Scottie Scheffler

(+1900): Here is another rising star looking for his first PGA Tour title. Scheffler played on the 2021 American Ryder Cup team, and his consistency on Tour has paid off as he’s up to No. 14 in the world. Scheffler finished solo 3rd in this event on debut in 2020 and went on to win PGA Rookie of the Year honors that year.  

Abraham Ancer

(+2900): Ancer is ranked No. 20 in the world and the only golfer to finish in the top-5 in The American Express the last two years with a best solo 2nd in 2020. 

Matthew Wolff

(+3100): The youngest of these player profiles at age 22, Wolff was raised in Agoura Hills, CA. Like Rickie Fowler below, Wolff went to Oklahoma State and earned All-American honors and won the 2019 NCAA individual championship.

That same year, he won his first PGA Tour title at the 3M Open. His best finish in two starts in this event was T40 last year. 

Rickie Fowler

(+5000): Born and raised in Murrieta, CA, Fowler’s game fell off significantly the past two years, but he’s climbed back into the top 100 of the world rankings. His last two appearances in this event in 2020 and 2021 produced T10 and T21 finishes. 

Phil Mickelson

(+12000): is a two-time American Express winner who also finished 2nd in this event in 2019 with a strong 25-under par score. He remains one of the most popular players on the Tour despite being a big longshot to win this year’s event.

Lefty has won 45 tournaments on the PGA Tour including six majors with the PGA Championship last year at age 50 a crowning achievement. That moved him up sharply in the world rankings and he’s currently No. 35. The San Diego native has found his groove playing in his home state.   

Patrick Reed

is No. 26 in the world and a former winner of this event in 2014.

Over the last five years, there are nine players in this year’s field that have multiple top-15 finishes in The American Express. 

  • Abraham Ancer
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Tony Finau
  • Adam Hadwin
  • Brian Harman
  • Sungjae Im
  • Andrew Landry
  • Jon Rahm
  • Michael Thompson
Photo by Ian Walton / Associated Press
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