The American Express – Gambling/DFS Preview 2021

This week’s on the PGA Tour, after the Hawaii swing we go to California. This year with covid restrictions, this tournament actually improves getting rid of the stupid Pro-Am format and dropping from a three course rotation to two at PGA West.

PGA West Stadium Course – La Quinta, CA
PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course – La Quinta, CA

Course Breakdown

PGA West Stadium Course (All Rounds)

Par 72, 7113 yds, Pete Dye designed, toughest of the three courses but still pretty easy compared to tour average, Par 5s are much longer and harder than the other two courses, average fairways that get narrow at the landing areas, bunkers and a lot of water, rough is easy, small greens and huge bunkers (including the huge 20 ft deep bunker), overseeded Bermuda greens

PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course (Rounds 1 and 2)

Par 72, 7204 yds, second easiest course on tour (behind La Quinta where they aren’t playing this year), all the Par 5s are reachable, average to large fairways with lots of bunkers and water, rough isn’t very thick, undulating multi-tiered large greens, overseeded Bermuda greens

Tournament Notes

  • Formerly known as the Desert Classic, CareerBuilder Challenge and Bob Hope Classic
  • Because of COVID restrictions, the terrible Pro-Am format is gone this year. Instead of the three course rotation and the cut after Saturday, its only a two course rotation on Thursday and Friday on PGA West and then only the Stadium course on the weekend after a normal cut
  • 10 of the last 11 winners here played in one of the two Hawaii events before their win
  • 7 of the last 8 winners played this event before
  • 7 of the last 9 winners had a T15 in one of their last 7 starts before this event
  • Birdiefest, the winner of this event has never been worse than -20
  • Longer players won’t hit drivers as often here

Key Stats

SG Approach, SG OTT

Main proximity distance range on approach: 150-175 yds.


156 players, better than usual

Defending Champion: Andrew Landry (-26)

Runner Up Last Year: Abraham Ancer (-24)

One and Done: Matthew Wolff

Alternate: Doc Redman

One and Done Considerations: Matthew Wolff


Matthew Wolff: 9700: +2200 – Made cut here last year, 5th in approach, 15th in SG: OTT, 2nd in opportunities gained, 15th in Par 4 scoring, 20th in Par 5 scoring, 12th in proximity 

Russell Henley: 9000: +3300 – T11 last week, missed cut here the last 2 years, the stats love him again, 1st in approach, 1st in opportunities gained, 1st in Par 3 scoring, 3rd in Par 4 scoring, 10th in fairways gained, 6th in proximity 150-175 yds, 2nd in sand saves

Doc Redman: 7500: +8000 – 8th in approach, 6th in opportunities gained, 18th in Par 3 scoring, 12th in Par 4 scoring, 15th in fairways gained, 13th in proximity 150-175 yds,  28th in SG: OTT

Keegan Bradley: 7300: +7000 – 3rd in Approach, 20th in SG: OTT, 15th in proximity 150-175 yds, 15th in opportunities gained, 9th in Par 5 scoring

Chez Reavie: 7200: +12500 – Decent course history here, 4th in approach, 4th in proximity 150-175 yds, 2nd in fairways gained, 9th in opportunities gained, 11th in sand saves, 26th in Par 4 scoring

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