The American Express Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

The American Express 17th Hole
Si Woo Kim celebrates a birdie putt on the 17th hole during the final round of The American Express on the Stadium course at PGA West on Jan 24, 2021 in La Quinta, Calif. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)

After its two-tournament Hawaiian swing, the PGA Tour returns to the U.S. mainland this week for The 2022 American Express at PGA West in La Quinta, California.

The long-running tournament, with its rich history and tradition, provides yet another opportunity for tour players to get their early season moving in a positive direction.

The field of 156 players is headlined by world No. 1 Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, and tournament host Phil Mickelson, among others.

The Skinny

Tournament: The American Express
Dates: Jan. 20-23, 2022
PGA Tour Debut: 1960
PGA TOUR Week: 12th (of 43)
TV Network: GOLF Channel
Course: PGA West (Stadium)
Where: La Quinta, California
Distance: 7113 yards, Par 72
Architect: Pete Dye, 1986
Field 156 players
Format: 3 Courses, 54-hole cut, 72-hole stroke
Purse: $7,600,000
Win Share: $1,368,000
FedEx Cup/OWGR Points: 500/50
2021 Champion: Si Woo Kim


How to Follow The American Express

Phil Mickelson The American Express
Phil Mickelson on the 17th hole during the second round of The American Express PGA on January 23, 2021 at PGA West Stadium Course in La Quinta, Calif. (Photo by Tom Hauck / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

TELEVISION: Thu-Sun: 3-7 p.m. ET (GOLF Channel)

PGA TOUR LIVE (ESPN+): Thu-Fri: 12-7 p.m. ET (Main Feed, Marquee, Groups, Holes); Sat-Sun: 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. (Main Feed, Marquee, Groups, Holes)

RADIO: Thu-Fri: 1-7 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 2-7 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM)

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram


History

Bernhard Langer with Bob Hope during the Bob Hope British Classic at Moor Park Golf Club on September 26, 1981 in Rickmansworth, England. Photo by Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Remember when one of the early-season west coast events was a five-round tournament? It was this one, back when it was called the Bob Hope Classic.

The tournament is best remembered for David Duval’s final-round 59 in 1999 – when 59s were a bit rarer.

In 2012, the tournament moved to a traditional four-round variety, but its compelling past has not been forgotten. The American Express began in 1960 as the Palm Springs Desert Golf Classic. The inaugural tournament was won by Arnold Palmer, who shot 20 under in a three-stroke triumph over Fred Hawkins.

Palmer would go on to win the tournament a record five times.

Other past legendary winners include Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper, Johnny Miller, and Phil Mickelson.

Bob Hope was added to the tournament title in 1965 (he became the tournament’s Chairman of the Board) and his famous name stayed as part of the top billing through 2011.

Hope and Palmer, along with the advent of golf TV, made for a perfect marriage. The five-day tournament, known for its celebrity pro-ams, allowed the TV networks to showcase not only Palmer, but the many famous celebrity golfers, including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and President Dwight Eisenhower.

The tournament will be contested at PGA West and played on three courses for the first three rounds: the Stadium Course, the Nickalus Tournament Course, and La Quinta Country Club. For Sunday’s finale, the Stadium Course will play host.

This will be just the eighth year at the Stadium Course, as it was so difficult in its 1987 debut that players petitioned to have it removed from the tournament rotation.

The Pete Dye masterpiece made its return to the rotation in 2016, and it plays much easier now than it did in ’87, with winners Jason Dufner (2016, -25), Hudson Swafford (2017, -20), Jon Rahm (2018, -22), Adam Long (2019, -26), Andrew Landry (2020, -26), and Si Woo Kim (2021, -23) each shooting better than 20-under par en route to their victories. (The 1987 winner, Corey Pavin, was 19 under for FIVE rounds.)

History: Recent Amex Winners

2021: Si Woo Kim (-23)
2020: Andrew Landry (-26)
2019: Adam Long (-26)
2018: Jon Rahm (-22)
2017: Hudson Swafford (-20)
2016: Jason Dufner (-25)
2015: Bill Haas (-22)
2014: Patrick Reed (-28)

History: Records

Wins: 5 – Arnold Palmer (1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1973)
72-hole Score: 259 (-36) – Joe Durant (2001)
18-hole Score: 59 – David Duval (1999), Adam Hadwin (2017)


The Course: PGA West Stadium

The American Express 17th Hole
Max Homa lines up a putt on the 17th hole during the final round of The American Express on the Stadium course at PGA West on Jan 24, 2021 in La Quinta, Calif. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)

Located in La Quinta, California, PGA West Stadium is the crown jewel of the PGA West resort which includes six championship golf courses.

The PGA West Stadium Course was designed by Pete Dye and is viewed as the sequel to the TPC at Sawgrass. It was inspired by the Scottish links-style courses.

Considered one of the most challenging courses in America, the Stadium Course has hosted many tour-related golf events.

The Stadium features two of the toughest finishing holes in golf: the island green of hole No. 17, known as Alcatraz, as well as the menacing water-lined 18th.

The Skinny
Name: PGA West Stadium
Locale: La Quinta, CA
Established: 1986
Type: Resort
Stats: 18/72/7113 yards
Greens: Bermuda
Fairways: Bermuda
Designer: Pete Dye
Website: PGAWest.com


The American Express Field

Patrick Cantlay The American Express
Patrick Cantlay on the 17th tee during the final round of The American Express on the Stadium course at PGA West on Jan 24, 2021 in La Quinta, Calif. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)

The field this week at PGA West is headlined by world No. 1 Jon Rahm, the 2018 winner at PGA West, and No. 4 Patrick Cantlay, who shot a course-record 61 in the final round a year ago.

Rahm and Cantlay are the only top-10 ranked players in the field this week. They will be joined by a trio of top-20 ranked names in Scottie Scheffler (14), Tony Finau (17) and Abraham Ancer (20).

Fan favorites will include tournament host, and reigning PGA champion, Phil Mickelson, and Rickie Fowler, who will make his first start since early November.

Other marquee players include Patrick Reed, Will Zalatoris, Russell Henley and Justin Rose.

In addition to Rahm (2018) and Reed (2014), the American Express also includes former winners in Si Woo Kim (2021), Andrew Landry (2020), Adam Long (2019), Hudson Swafford (2017), Jason Dufner (2016), and Charley Hoffman (2007), among others.

Major winners Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Jimmy Walker, Davis Love III, and Lucas Glover are some of the other familiar names.

Top-5 Betting Favorites

Book Rank-Player (Odds)
1. Jon Rahm (6-1)
2. Patrick Cantlay (9-1)
3. Scottie Scheffler (20-1)
4. Sungjae Im (20-1)
5. Tony Finau (20-1)

Full Field & Odds

PGA West Stadium | La Quinta, CA | Jan 20-23, 2022


Joel Cook contributed to this report.


Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images


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