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The American Express: Best Bets

The PGA heads to California for the American Express. Featuring the Pro-Am format and a rotation among the Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course, and La Quinta Country Club, it’s certainly not the best tournament in terms of following. While diverse courses can be positive, the repetition of birdie-friendly setups dampens my interest, as well as viewing quality. The absence of ShotLink data in half the rounds will make it difficult to make data-driven decisions throughout the event.

Luckily for the fans that do decide to tune in, many of the Tour’s best have decided to give this event a run. They are signing themselves up for 6+ hour rounds thanks to the amateur aspect of the event. While there is plenty of talent to pick from, I will be looking further down the board when placing bets this week. The course is extremely easy for the pros, as would be expected with amateurs giving it a whirl alongside the professionals. This means with the pin placements at easy locations and the rough cut down, it will ultimately come down to putting. I won’t bet Scottie Scheffler at +550 in a putting competition, and I don’t believe anyone is worth a bet lower than 20/1. There will simply be too much randomness to back them at a low number.

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Best Bets: American Express

Adam Hadwin (+5000)

Having played here 8 times, Adam Hadwin has never missed a cut. He has 2 runner-up finishes, a T3 and a T6. His worst putting performance was his first appearance, where he only gained 2.6 strokes on the week! Needless to say, when this comes down to putting, Hadwin will make the putts.

Hadwin’s approach play has also been superb here. He’s only lost strokes approaching the green once in his 8 attempts at PGA West. He missed the cut on the number in Hawaii, but he had rattled off some quality finishes. This includes a solo second at the Shriner’s, which would be his 3rd runner-up in 2023.

While I believe his odds should be higher than 50/1, I think it’s worth it for his history and putting capabilities here.

Cam Davis (+5000)

For a golfer who is known for his elite ball-striking ability, Cam Davis has found some consistency with the flat stick. In fact, it’s been the only thing keeping him from the bottom of the leaderboard in 2024. He has 4 straight events of gaining 4+ strokes on the green. If he can get his irons back to where he’s used to, he’ll have a real fighting chance this week.

Dating back to last year’s 3M Open, Cam Davis has finished in the Top 10 more than he hasn’t. Not many golfers can say that, especially at 50/1. Cam Davis’ length off the tee will certainly come in handy here. With many holes shorter than your typical PGA course so the amateurs can survive, Davis will be greenside a few times off the tee. If he can hone in on his approach game and get it back to the past few seasons’ form, Cam Davis will find his name atop the leaderboard.

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