Sun, 29 May 2022

Golf Glance: No. 1 Jon Rahm headlines The American Express field

Field Level Media
19 Jan 2022, 10:05 GMT+10

Field Level Media's Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.


LAST TOURNAMENT: Sony Open (Hideki Matsuyama)

THIS WEEK: The American Express, La Quinta, Calif., Jan. 20-23

Courses: PGA West, Stadium (Par 72, 7,113 yards); La Quinta Country Club (Par 72, 7,060 yards); PGA West, Nicklaus (Par 72, 7,159 yards)

Purse: $7.6M (Winner: $1.368M)

Defending Champion: Si Woo Kim

FedEx Cup Leader: Matsuyama


TV: Thursday-Sunday, 3-7 p.m. (Golf Channel)

PGA Tour Live: Four live feeds per day on ESPN

Social Media: @TheAmexGolf (Twitter)

NOTES: This is the first event of 2022 in the mainland United States following two weeks in Hawaii. After being played on two courses for the first time last year, it returns to a three-course pro-am event. Each professional will be grouped with amateurs for the first three rounds before the low 65 professionals and ties play the final round at the Stadium Course. ... Phil Mickelson serves as the tournament host. He won the event in 2002 and 2004. ... Reigning rookie of the year Will Zalatoris will tee it up for the first time in 2022. ... Sponsor's exemptions include T.J Vogel, Chan Kim, James Hart du Preez and college star John Pak. Du Preez will make his PGA Tour debut after leading the Sunshine Tour in driving distance (373.1 yards) last year. ... Cameron Champ is set to return after being forced to withdraw from the Tournament of Champions due to a positive COVID-19 test. ... The American Express has been decided by two shots or fewer in every edition since it became a 72-hole event in 2012.

BEST BETS: Jon Rahm (500 at DraftKings) won the event in 2018 and is coming off a runner-up finish at the Tournament of Champions. He's the first No. 1 to enter the event since Justin Rose in 2019 and leads the tour in Greens in Regulation at 81.48 percent. ... Reigning FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay (900) set a course record with a final-round 61 last year, finishing one shot behind Kim. ... Scottie Scheffler (1600), still chasing his first tour win, has three top-four finishes in his past four starts. ... Matthew Wolff (2800) leads the tour in adjusted scoring after four made cuts in the fall swing, including a runner-up at the Shriners and a T5 at Mayakoba. ... Patrick Reed (3500) holds the tournament scoring record for 260 set in 2014. ... Kim (5000) is attempting to become the first player to successfully defend his title since Johnny Miller in 1975-76.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Farmers Insurance Open, San Diego, Calif., Jan. 27-30


LAST TOURNAMENT: CME Group Tour Championship (Jin Young Ko)

THIS WEEK: Tournament of Champions, Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20-23

Course: Lake Nona Golf and Country Club (Par 72, 6,617 yards)

Purse: $1.5M (Winner: $225,000); Celebrities and amateurs: $500,000 (Winner: $100,000)

Defending Champion: Jessica Korda (Mardy Fish)

Race to the CME Globe leader: First event

TV: Thursday-Sunday, 12-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 3-5 p.m. ET (NBC).

Social Media: @HiltonGrandVac (Twitter), @HiltonGrandVacations (Instagram), HGVLPGA

NOTES: The 72-hole, no-cut event features 29 players alongside 50 celebrities and amateurs who will compete in a Modified Stableford scoring format. ... Korda defeated Danielle Kang on the first playoff hole last year with a 25-foot birdie putt after the pair set the tournament scoring record of 260 over 72 holes. ... Nelly Korda won the 2020 Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona for one of her four victories last season. ... Michelle Wie West is in the field courtesy of her 2018 victory at the HSBC Women's World Champion. Wie West, 32, is back on tour following maternity leave and said her 2022 schedule will be based on what works for her family.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, Boca Raton, Fla., Jan. 27-30

Champions Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: Charles Schwab Cup Championship (Phil Mickelson; Bernhard Langer won season-long title)

THIS WEEK: Mitsubishi Electric Championship, Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii, Jan. 20-22

Course: Hualalai Golf Club (Par 72, 7,107)

Purse: $2M (Winner: $310,000)

Defending Champion: Darren Clarke

Charles Schwab Cup leader: First event

TV: Friday-Saturday, 7-10 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

Social Media: @MEC_golf (Twitter)

NOTES: The 42-player field limited to winners on the tour over the past two years includes six Hall of Famers, led by reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion Bernhard Langer. ... Former World No. 1 David Duval will make his Champions debut and will be joined by five others making their event debuts: Alex Cejka, Stephen Dodd, Steven Alker, Cameron Beckman, Rod Pampling and Dicky Pride. ... The event returns to Hawaii for the 26th consecutive year, with Clarke attempting to become the first player to successfully defend his title since it moved to Hualalai in 1997.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Chubb Classic, Naples, Fla., Feb. 18-20

--Field Level Media

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