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Expert Daily Fantasy Golf Picks for the American Express PGA Tour Event

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Tournament Information

The PGA Tour returns to the mainland for the American Express after the first two events of 2023 were held in Hawaii, and we have your daily fantasy golf picks covered. Si Woo Kim won his fourth PGA Tour tournament at the Sony Open in Hawaii and this event in 2021. This event will be held on three courses: the PGA West Stadium Course, the PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course, and La Quinta Country Club. The top 65 and ties will return to the Stadium Course after three rounds. Going low is essential for success in this birdie fest tournament, with the last 15 champions shooting at least 20 under par to win.

Hudson Swafford defeated Tom Hoge in the 2022 edition of The American Express, becoming one of nine Desert Classic multi-winners (2017). Phil Mickelson (2002, 2004) and Bill Haas (2010, 2015) are two other famous multi-winners, with Arnold Palmer leading the way with five all-time victories (1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1973). This weekend’s event will include five of the world’s top seven golfers, including Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler, Will Zalatoris, and Xander Schauffele. These names are likely to be among the fantasy golf betting favorites. Rahm is the only prior winner among the five.

We will now look at the form of the last five champions, to see if we can locate some vital links to begin finding our fantasy golf picks this week.

Past Results

2022 Hudson Swafford – 265 – Form 48/10/CUT/35
2021 Si Woo Kim – 265 – Form 25/34/CUT/17
2020 Andrew Landry – 262 – Form CUT/CUT/CUT/CUT
2019 Adam Long – 262 – Form CUT/CUT/CUT/63
2018 Jon Rahm – 266 – Form 2/36/7/5

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The Course

The Stadium Course, which will be played once in the Thursday-Saturday rotation and once again on Sunday for all players who make the cut, is the most difficult of the three. The Pete Dye design pays homage to TPC Sawgrass and includes some challenging water hazards. This week, avoiding the water on the Stadium Course will be critical as the three other courses will provide little opposition. Its finest defense is in its par-3s, which rank first, second, and fourth in scoring difficulty. On Sundays, they’ve been decisive in crowning a champion. The Stadium Course has ten holes with a scoring average less than par. The historical average score is -1.33.

La Quinta was the simplest of the three courses again last year, and it was the most straightforward par 72 utilized on the PGA Tour for four seasons in a row between 2017 and 2020. When amateurs play, the setups are intentionally less demanding than on the PGA Tour, and very low scoring is the norm. Bermuda greens are often set at roughly 11 on the stimpmeter, with minimal rough.

The Field

Even though it is not one of the new elevated tournaments, the lineup includes nine of the world’s Top 20 players: Cameron Young, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Sam Burns, Scottie Scheffler, Sungjae Im, Tom Kim, Tony Finau, and Will Zalatoris. Unfortunately, Xander Schauffele was forced to withdraw from the Tournament of Champions, but he will still compete here. Brian Harman, Chad Ramey, JT Poston, Ryan Brehm, Sungjae Im, and Tom Kim are all back for the third week running. Adam Hadwin, Danny Willett, Davis Riley, Dean Burmester, Erik Van Rooyen, Garrick Higgo, Jason Day, Joel Dahmen, Justin Rose, Matthew NeSmith, Ricky Fowler, Sebastian Munoz, Taylor Pendrith, and Thomas Detry, on the other hand, are all making their PGA Tour debuts in 2023.

Key Stats

These are the key stats that we believe will be the most important this week.

Fantastic Five – As previously mentioned, the par five holes on these courses generally offer the best scoring opportunities and will need to be taken advantage of this week.

Par Five Scoring Average

  1. Patrick Cantlay
  2. Matt Fitzpatrick
  3. Jon Rahm
  4. Keita Nakajima
  5. Justin Thomas

A Little Birdie Told Us – This tournament is a birdie fest; there is no doubt about that. Players that make birdies regularly will do well here.

Birdie Average

  1. Patrick Cantlay
  2. Jon Rahm
  3. Tony Finau
  4. Max Homa
  5. Cameron Young

Putting Perfection – This competition is regularly called a putting contest, and it’s usually won by the player who performs best with the blade.

SG: Putting

  1. Brian Gay
  2. Travis Vick
  3. Harry Hall
  4. Maverick McNealy
  5. Patrick Cantlay

Four More – Although most people always look at the par-five scoring statistics when analyzing this event, par-four scoring is the common denominator among past winners. For example, Swafford came second in par four scoring last year, Landry came first when he won, and Long also came second.

Par Four Scoring Average

  1. Patrick Cantlay
  2. Jon Rahm
  3. Brian Harman
  4. Xander Schauffele
  5. Thomas Detry

Another vital stat is that 14 of the last 15 winners played at least once leading into this event.

Golfer Hit

Draft Picks

Here are our DFS picks for this week’s competition.

Essential Players – These golfers are worth breaking the bank for.

Patrick Cantlay – Everything Cantley seems to touch turns to gold, and it’s hard to ignore his credentials here. He has played twice already this season and came runner-up at the first time of asking at the Shriners Children’s Open. Last season he finished with 12 top-ten finishes and picked up a couple of wins on Tour along the way. He placed second here two years ago, and we believe he can go one step further this year and pick up the trophy.

Jon Rahm – We hate picking tournament favorites, but in Jon Rahm’s case, we will make an exception. Rahm is seemingly unstoppable right now, having placed inside the top eight in all three tournaments he has played so far. He also picked up the win last time out at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which could be a significant indicator. As mentioned above, Rahm is a previous winner of this event, and when he lifted the trophy, he placed second at the Sentry heading into this one. 

Middle Order – These players cost slightly less than the essential players above, but have every chance of pushing for a top ten spot and beyond.

Brian Harman – Brian Harman has arguably been the most consistent golfer on Tour this season, making him a must-have DFS player. He has yet to miss the cut and has three top-eight finishes, including two runners-up placings. He finished eight here two years ago and third last year. If he continues that trajectory, combined with his fine form, h3 could easily walk away with the title this week.

Outsiders – These guys won’t cost you much and can make up any line up, especially on a budget.

Harry Hall – The Englishman has yet to break into the top ten this season, but don’t let that deter you; look at Andrew Landry’s form when he won this event. Hall played some steady golf last week and produced four sub-70 rounds, and although he is one of the less experienced in this field, he has played this event once before. It’s worth noting he is also deadly with the putter. If he can create some decent scoring opportunities, he could be involved come Sunday.