The PGA Tour is back on the mainland this week for The American Express La Quinta, California. This year’s edition will have a different look – only two courses will be used, and amateurs will not play alongside the professionals.
Third tournament of the calendar year. Below are seven things to know about The American Express.
1) Different courses! The event takes place at the Stadium Course at PGA West (par 72) and Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West (par 72). For the first time in tournament history, The American Express will be conducted on only two courses. Players will play a round at each course before heading to the Stadium Course for play over the weekend.
2) Water Water Everywhere! There is a TON of water in play at the Stadium course. Below is a picture of the 17. Great little par three that has some TPC Sawgrass vibes. On the front, there is water in play on the fifth (par 5 with water in play left off the tee and right on approaches to green), sixth (long peninsula par 3), seventh (short par 4, guys will likely use an iron off the tee with water running along the right side of the hole and surrounding the green) and ninth (medium length par 4 with water all long the right side).
3) Time To Go Low! Over the last eight years, winners at this event have averaged 27.7 birdies or eagles for the week at this event. So guys will have to go low to be in contention this week. Each of the last seven years the winning score has been -20 or better.
4) Rahm Withdraws. Tournament favorite and world No. 2 Jon Rahm withdrew from the event yesterday. He did not give a reason for skipping an event he has a strong history at. Rahm finished sixth at the course in 2019 and won it back in 2018.
5) Strong Field. Despite Rahm withdrawing, the American Express still has a very strong field. Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Singjae Im, Matthew Wolff and tournament host Phil Mickelson are all teeing it up.
6) Charity exhibitions Are Back! Tournament host Phil Mickelson will be mic’d up and playing in a charity exhibition on Wednesday alongside Tony Finau and Paul Casey. Phil is always much watch during these things so tune into Golf Channel Wednesday afternoon.
7) The Champ Is Here! That is not a Cameron Champ pun, but he is in the field. Andrew Landry is the defending champion at the event. He carded a four-round score of 26-under-par to pick up the win last year. Landry is looking to become the first golfer to defend his title at The American Express since Johnny Miller in 1975-76.
Everyone loves a trophy you can drink out of.
Should be an exciting week of golf both here and on the European Tour is Dubai. The field over there is a packed as well with JT, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson and every other big name European player you can think of.