The American Express – Gambling/DFS Preview 2022

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

Course Breakdowns

PGA West Stadium Course (All Rounds)

Par 72, 7113 yds, Pete Dye designed, highest birdie+ % from the fairway for any course on tour, 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 (some of the most difficult to reach in two on tour), very tough Par 3s, average fairways that get narrow at the landing areas, bunkers and a lot of water, rough is pretty easy to make it easier for the Pro-Am golfers, lowest sand save percentage of any course on tour, small greens and huge bunkers (including the huge 20 ft deep bunker), overseeded Bermuda greens

PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course (Rounds 1-3)

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

La Quinta Country Club (Rounds 1-3)

Par 72, 7060 yds, easiest course on tour, tree lined average sized fairways, average greens with trouble around them, average sized overseeded Bermuda greens

Tournament Notes

  • Formerly known as the Desert Classic, CareerBuilder Challenge and Bob Hope Classic
  • Back to the standard three course rotation of this event with a 54 hole cut and the shitty Pro-Am format that makes this thing pretty much unwatchable till Sunday is back, since it takes forever
  • Because of COVID restrictions last year, the terrible Pro-Am format was gone. Instead of the three course rotation and the cut after Saturday, its was 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
  • Course setup rounds 1-3 easier since normal people have to play with the pros
  • Birdiefest, the winner of this event has never been worse than -20
  • Longer players won’t hit drivers as often here
  • A lot of long shots win this event (other than Rahm when he won in 2018)
  • 12 of the last 13 winners here have played in at least one of the two Hawaii events the year that they won
  • 8 of the last 9 winners here have played this event before the year they won
  • 8 of the last 10 winners have had a T15 in one of their last seven starts prior to winning here
  • TV broadcast of this event is fucking awful, arguably worse than than Pebble Beach with the Stadium Course being the only one with Shotlink and TV cameras
  • Historical advantage of starting at La Quinta first but this is partially cause the best players start here since then they’re on TV at the Stadium Course on Saturday
  • 80% of all Par 4s on these courses are in the 350-450 yard range

Key Stats

Approach, Good Drives, Ballstriking

Main proximity distance range on approach: 150-175 yds (24.7%)

Field

155 golfers

Defending Champion: Si Woo Kim (-23)

Runner Up Last Year: Patrick Cantlay (-22)

One and Done: Patrick Cantlay

One and Done Considerations: Rahm, Cantlay, Power, Henley

Players

Jon Rahm: 11300: +500 – Best golfer in the world, 6,1,T34 finishes his last three times here, 2nd at TOC in Hawaii, 6th in approach, 1st in ballstriking, 2nd in SG: T2G, 1st in SG: OTT, 9th in good drives, 58th in proximity 150-175 yds, 13th in sand saves, 19th in opportunities gained, 2nd in birdie+ gained, 20th in short game, 42nd in SG: ARG, 27th in putting, 1st in DK pts, can’t bet him at the +500 price

Patrick Cantlay: 10900: +900 – 2nd here last year and T9 here in 2019, 4th at TOC in Hawaii, 3rd in approach, 2nd in ballstriking, 1st in SG: T2G, 3rd in SG: OTT, 12th in good drives, 14th in proximity 150-175 yds, 30th in sand saves, 16th in opportunities gained, 10th in birdie+ gained, 11th in short game, 23rd in SG: ARG, 17th in putting, 6th in DK pts

Seamus Power: 9500: +2800 – MC,T11,T21 his last 3 times here, T3,T15,T4,MC,T11,T12 his last six events, 18th in approach, 17th in ballstriking, 8th in SG: T2G, 38th in SG: OTT, 31st in good drives, 50th in proximity 150-175 yds, 17th in sand saves, 64th in opportunities gained, 5th in birdie+ gained, 5th in short game, 5th in SG: ARG, 24th in putting, 8th in DK pts

Luke List: 8000: +6500 – T21,MC,MC,MC,T41 here the last five years, T10,T11,MC his last 3 events, 14th in approach, 5th in ballstriking, 3rd in SG: T2G, 7th in SG: OTT, 18th in good drives, 49th in proximity 150-175 yds, 81st in sand saves, 3rd in opportunities gained, 13th in birdie+ gained, 109th in short game, 6th in SG: ARG, 150th in putting, 20th in DK pts

Harold Varner III: 7600: +9000 – MC,T18,MC,MC here the last four years, WD,MC his last two events, so not great coming into here but decent stat fit for the course, 12th in approach, 22nd in ballstriking, 15th in SG: T2G, 76th in SG: OTT, 55th in good drives, 84th in proximity 150-175 yds, 20th in sand saves, 28th in opportunities gained, 19th in birdie+ gained, 33rd in short game, 34th in SG: ARG, 47th in putting, 10th in DK pts

CT Pan: 6800: +15000 – MC,T51,MC,MC his last four times here, MC,T45 his last two events, 31st in approach, 24th in ballstriking, 20th in SG: T2G, 45th in SG: OTT, 47th in good drives, 7th in proximity 150-175 yds, 72nd in sand saves, 57th in opportunities gained, 73rd in birdie+ gained, 49th in short game, 56th in SG: ARG, 61st in putting, 62 in DK pts

Model

Approach (20%)

Ballstriking (10%)

SG: T2G (5%)

SG: OTT (5%)

Good Drives (5%)

Proximity 150-175 yds (10%)

Sand Saves (5%)

Opportunities Gained (10%)

Birdie+ Gained (10%)

Short Game (10%)

SG: ARG (5%)

Putting (5%)

DK pts (0%)

Stats based on past 50 rounds

DraftKings/Betting Notes

  • Because of the 54 hole cut, missed cuts aren’t quite as detrimental to lineups, so being more aggressive with higher upside plays are a smart idea this week on DraftKings
  • First round leaders typically will not start on the Stadium Course
  • Showdown slates and some possible matchups might have some advantages based on the course golfers are on that day

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