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2022 American Express: Best DFS plays from each price range

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The PGA Tour heads out west to California for the 2022 American Express.

The tournament is usually a Pro-Am played at three different courses: PGA West Stadium Course, PGA West Nicklaus Course, and La Quinta Country Club. Last year, with the Pro-Am being dropped, the round at La Quinta Country Club was also. This year the event will be played at all three courses once again.

Therefore, each golfer will play two rounds at PGA West Stadium Course, one round at PGA West Nicklaus Course, and one round at La Quinta Country Club. The Stadium Course is a 7,113-yard par 72 that was designed by Pete Dye in 1986. The Nicklaus Course is a Par 72 measuring 7,159 yards. La Quinta Country Club is a par 72 measuring 7,060 yards. All of the courses are short for a Par 72 and typically play easy, resulting in some low winning scores.

The 2022 American Express field is a full-field event comprised of 156 golfers. Some notable entrants to the event include Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Phil Mickelson, Matthew Wolff, Scottie Scheffler, Sungjae Im, Abraham Ancer, and Tony Finau.

10,000+

Jon Rahm $11,300

There is no doubt that Rahm will be incredibly popular in DFS this week, and for good reason. While most weeks I advise pivoting off of the most popular golfer on the slate, this week, I believe the correct move is starting your lineups with him.

The floor for Rahm is incredibly high this week. As we saw at the Sentry Tournament of Champions when he was playing off of a three and a half month layoff, he doesn’t need his “A” game to be better than the rest of the field. Rahm is simply the best player in the world, and it isn’t particularly close. He now comes to an event which he has been excellent at, winning in 2018 and finishing in sixth in 2019.

It will be incredibly difficult for anyone to take down “Rahmbo” this week.

9,000+

Abraham Ancer $9,200:

Another golfer with fantastic course history at PGA West is Abraham Ancer. The Mexican star finished 2nd in 2020 and 5th in 2021. Coming off of a down week where he was popular at the Sony Open, there may be a slight ownership on him, although he will still be fairly popular.

Desert golf has been kind to Ancer and I expect that to continue to be the case this week. Despite missing the cut last week, he managed to gain 1.0 strokes on the field on approach, so I don’t find the tough week for him to be incredibly concerning. It feels like a bounce-back spot for the 30-year-old.

8,000+

Justin Rose $8,600:

Rose seems intent on being committed to the PGA Tour this season, and playing in The American Express this week (an event he rarely plays) is proof of that. At the Hero World Challenge, Rose finished in a tie for 9th and ended the week hot and fired -6 on Sunday.

Sitting at 47th in the Official World Golf Rankings, “Rosie” is highly motivated and should begin his 2022 season with a chip on his shoulder. Although he hasn’t played at PGA West much, he does have some recent success at Pebble Beach, another shorter West Coast track where he contended for the U.S. Open in 2019. The Englishman has the ability to get hot with the putter on Bermudagrass, which is what we’ve seen many winners of this event do in the past.

7,000+

Michael Thompson $7,500:

Michael Thompson was one of the most impressive golfers at last week’s Sony Open. The 36-year-old gained 6.5 strokes on approach, was third good for third-best in the field. He struggled a bit off the tee, but that shouldn’t be much of a detriment at The American Express, with the rough not being overly penal on any of the three courses.

In addition to his performance last week, Thompson also has shown he likes playing at PGA West. Last year, he finished in 5th place and also finished 9th at the event in 2019. Early in the season, journeyman golfers who get hot tend to stay hot for a stretch, and Thompson has been a streaky player throughout his career. 

6,000+

James Hahn $6,400:

Despite some up and down form in 2021, I believe James Hahn has some win equity relative to his odds heading into 2022. With two Tour wins on his resume, he has shown he is capable of getting it done on a week where he finds himself in contention.

The 40-year-old has played some of the best golf of his career on desert tracks on the west coast. He has a 4th place at PGA West back in 2013, but it’s his recent performances on corollary courses that make him stand out this week. Hahn has a 5th place finish at the Shriners in 2020, and a 10th place finish at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last season. The South Korean always plays TPC Scottsdale well, and there has been some obvious carry over on leaderboards between that event and The American Express.

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TG2: Ben Hogan’s prototype clubs are crazy and we answer your questions from Instagram!

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This week Tursky got to see some of Ben Hogan’s prototype clubs that were from the Ben Hogan Foundation museum. Irons, woods, and even a hybrid from the 1960’s that were all ahead of their time. We take some questions from Instagram and give our best answers, including our “unicorn” clubs!

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Club Junkie: Titleist Vokey SM9 wedge update and KBS Tour Lite shaft review

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Back from Pinehurst checking out Golf Pride’s new headquarters and playing some golf. I have been playing the new Titleist Vokey SM9 wedge and falling for it. Also a review of the new KBS Tour Lite iron shafts.

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2022 Charles Schwab Challenge: Best Outright Bets

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After an exciting 2022 PGA Championship, the PGA Tour heads back to Texas to play the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Colonial Country Club is a 7,209-yard par 70 and features Bentgrass greens.  The difficulty of the event this week could be influenced by course setup or wind. It can play relatively easy or relatively difficult depending on pin locations and firmness of the greens, but the last three seasons have all produced winners with scores between -13 and -15.

The Charles Schwab Challenge is an invitational that will host 121 golfers this week, and the field is very strong considering despite it being the week after a major championship. Some notable golfers in the field include Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Abraham Ancer, Will Zalatoris, Sam Burns, and Tony Finau.

2022 Charles Schwab Outright Bets

Jordan Spieth (+1500) (FanDuel):

Spieth was my headline bet at the Byron Nelson a few weeks ago, and although he didn’t get it done in the end, he did nothing to dissuade me from believing that a Texas win is imminent.

Course history has proven to be extremely important at Colonial, and there is no one better at the course (or even close) than Spieth. In his past six trips to Fort Worth, he has six Top-10 finishes, including a win and three runners-up. His form overall in the state of Texas is nothing short of immaculate.

Spieth’s performance at the PGA Championship wasn’t his best showing, but statistically, he continued his strong ball striking. He gained 8.6 strokes from tee to green, including a solid 4.7 strokes on approach.

He’s still struggling on the greens, as he lost 3.2 strokes on the field with the putter.

In his past four starts at Colonial Country Club, Spieth has gained 7.1 (2021), 8.6 (2020) and 7.5 (2019). If there were ever a place that the 28-year-old can find his putting stroke, it’s here.

Daniel Berger (+3500) (Bet365):

Berger is as predictable as it gets in regard to which courses fit his skill set. Shorter, Par-70 tracks — where accuracy is at a premium — have always suited the 29-year-old. He’s a fantastic iron player, but tends to struggle on long and difficult courses, which is why it’s no surprise that he didn’t do well in last week’s PGA Championship.

Colonial Country Club is an excellent fit for Berger’s game. The small greens give him an advantage over the field due to his accuracy on approach. He edged out Collin Morikawa — who also is one of the most accurate iron players on TOUR — here in a playoff in 2020.

Despite his poor showing last week, he still ranks in the top-10 in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. Last week’s statistics may be a bit unfair, as well, as Berger was caught in the difficult AM/PM draw.

It’s certainly arguable whether or not Berger is in the best of form right now, but it feels as though we are getting a discounted price this week, making it worth the risk.

Webb Simpson +4000 (DraftKings):

It’s been a rough year for Simpson. Last week’s 20th-place finish at the PGA Championship was his first Top-20 finish of 2022. He’s missed plenty of events due to injury, but the six starts he had between Top-20 finishes was one of the longest stretches of poor form of his career.

Despite the brutal season, there seems to be some reason for optimism. Simpson gained strokes off the tee, on approach, around the green and putting at Southern Hills. That was the first time the 36-year-old has gained strokes in all four of those categories in an event since February of 2021.

Webb is also a strong course fit for Colonial, and has two Top-5 finishes here in his past four trips.

It was encouraging to see Simpson turn in such a well-rounded performance on a course that would typically be difficult for him due to its length. The fact that he hung around all week tells me he’s finally starting to round into form. His strong play could he attributed to his recent iron switch. He gained 2.6 strokes on approach, which is his best performance of the season thus far. When speaking about the switch, Webb made some encouraging comments.

“ I haven’t been hitting my irons great. Approach to the green is typically a strength for me; this year it’s been a weakness, and I’ve struggled out of the rough. I keep getting told that these the irons I’m playing are better out of the rough, better with distance control, better with mis-hits, and so I guess I was being stubborn but finally listened and I really like them.”

If he’s back, this is a small price to pay for the win equity the seven-time PGA TOUR winner possesses.

Justin Rose +6600 (bet365):

Rose came out of nowhere last week to finish in 13th place at the PGA Championship.

The timing of his game starting to come around couldn’t be at a better spot in the schedule, as Colonial is a course that “Rosie” has been sensational at throughout his career. The Englishman won the event in 2018 and finished in 3rd in 2020.

Rose’s statistics were perhaps even more impressive than his result last week. He gained over five strokes on approach at Southern Hills, which is something he’s done only one other time since August of 2020.

He also gained 4.2 strokes putting and is one of the best Bentgrass putters in the field.

His combination of strong iron play and putting make Colonial an ideal fit.

I believe Rose has another PGA TOUR win in him, and this event is one of the most likely spots for him to get it done.

C.T. Pan +10000 (Bet365):

Before withdrawing from the Byron Nelson a few weeks ago with an illness, C.T. Pan was playing some great golf. He’s gained strokes on approach in his past seven starts and has gained strokes from tee to green in his past eight starts.

The bronze medalist can’t contend on every course on TOUR, but he’s one of the better players if the course is short enough. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks 13th in the field in Strokes Gained: Total on par 70s that are under 7,200 yards.

Pan finished in 3rd place here in 2019 and was the only player in the Top 5 to shoot all four rounds in the 60s (68-67-68-69). His recent run of consistency paired with his quintessential course fit make him an ideal triple-digit target this week.

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