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PGA Tour The American Express

The American Express

Written by: Ian Robins

Review of Last Week:

Last week did not go as well as week 1, as The Line Movers selection struggled on the course. Seamus Power came closest but was too far back in an exciting tournament that saw Hideki Matsuyama edge out Russell Henley in a playoff to end the Hawaii Swing. Corey Conners was very good for most of the tournament but his struggles on Saturday left him out of contention, a late run on Sunday was too little too late and a tough 3 putt on 18 left him in 11th place, just missing out on the top 10. Charles Howell also had some mid round struggles that left him 1 shot out of the top 30 and top OSU player. The tournament matchup won, and as we continue to get more data on the courses, those will fill up our cards.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Course:

The course heads to northern California for the American Express Open. This is a very unique tournament, with the first 3 rounds being played on 3 different courses as part of the Pro-Am event. The cut will also come after the 3rd round, so all players have a chance to rotate to all 3 courses. The toughest course here is the Stadium Course, which is where the final round will also be played. The Stadium course is the only course with live data and shot tracking. It is a Pete Dye designed course with sneaky traps surrounding the green and hazards put out along the course. There is water all along the course. This is a Par 72, 7200 yard course with Bermuda grass. This is considered a shorter course with easier scoring. The Pro-am factor makes the course easier as a whole for the amateurs to succeed on. On a whole, we will be looking for players who are good on Pete Dye courses, also players who score well at birdie fests, and players who succeed on shorter courses. Also, we will be putting an emphasis on accurate drivers and accurate approach players.

Top tier:

The top tier starts with 2 of the best players in the world, Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay. Rahm, a former champion here, is the no question number 1 player in the world. Patrick Cantlay is the other player in this field with single digit odds. The current FEDEX champion is the defending runner up and course record holder. He will be one of the shorter prices that I back this year as his form, and course form are way too hard to overlook. The other player in the top tier that I will be backing will be Sungjae Im. Im has been up and down this early season in Hawaii. He did rebound with a better round 2 last week after a terrible round 1, still missing the cut but giving some hope going into this week's tournament. Im does well on Dye courses and scores well in birdie fests.

(Image credit: Gregory Shamus)


Going back to one of better backings last week, I am backing Christiaan Bezuidenhout. Bez did a great job with his overall play, excelling on his approach play. He is a much better class player that his odds suggest, and it will be important to keep backing the low odds when available. His approach game has been very good and his top class putting will catch up as well. Another player in the middle tier worth looking at is Matthew Wolff. Wolff is one of the most talented players on tour, but he is also one of the most volatile players on tour. Based on his fall season, he seems to be in line to contend and worth backing at his price.

(Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Long shots:

The long shot list will be deep this week, as this course lends itself to surprise winners. One past winner that I will look to back in some way is Jhonny Vegas. Vegas has done well at recent bridie fest type courses and won on this course before. Another long shot to back is Davis Riley. Riley was one of the best players on the Korn Ferry tour last year with 2 wins. He struggled in his transition to the PGA tour but has seemed to find some form, including a strong finish last week at the Sony. Taylor Moore is also in his rookie year on tour and started off very well on his initial run on tour. Moore did his best work on shorter courses, and could be in line for a nice setup again this week.

DFS special of the week:

Luke List is a value play this week. List is popping in all my models and has very good metrics and course history here. List is a very good ball striker with subpar putting. His approach play can set himself up well to make a run, and if he can find a putter has a chance for some high upside.

Betting Golf 101: Dead Heat Rule vs Ties Included

Betting Top 5s, 10s, 20s, 30s, and 40s has become a fun way to play the weekend golf. It allows you to take golfers at higher odds with a little less liability if you think they will finish high but maybe not win outright. You still get return for a great weekend of golf. The biggest price difference we see from book to book is in the house rules for golf, where some books pay “Ties in full” while other books use “Dead Heat Rules.” I will always emphasize trying to find a book that pays “Ties in Full” and will show you a visual last week as to why that is so important. Here is the leaderboard from the Sentry last week. Last week we had top 10 bets on Marc Leishman at +220 and Cam Davis at +400, who both Tied for 10th. Here is how those payouts change from different books.

Book A (Pay Ties in Full)

Both players get paid out in full

Leishman returns 2.2U profit on 1U bet

Davis returns 4U on 1U bet

A nice total return of 6.2U

Book B (Dead Heat Rules)

There is a tie for 10th, so the

dead heat rules come in to

place. Leishman and Davis

finish in 10th and and 11th

position, meaning there is 1

spot in the top 10 available

for the two players.

the dead heat equation is

1 spot divided 2 players.

Leishman +220/2 = +110 or 

1.1U return.

Davis +400/2 = +200 or a 2U


Total Return of 3.1U

not as good as Book A.

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