Sun, 28 Feb 2021

Golf Glance: Patrick Cantlay favored at The American Express

Field Level Media
21 Jan 2021, 05:40 GMT+10

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

PGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Sony Open (Kevin Na)

THIS WEEK: The American Express, La Quinta, Calif., Jan. 21-24

Courses: PGA West Stadium Course (Par 72, 7,113 yards); PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course (Par 72, 7,152 yards)

Purse: $6.7 million (Winner: $1.206M)

Defending Champion: Andrew Landry

FedEx Cup leader: Dustin Johnson

How To Watch:

NOTES: The event will be conducted on only two courses this year for the first time in history. With amateurs not playing alongside pros due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions, the La Quinta Country Club is not part of the tournament. The cut will go from the typical 54 holes for the event to 36. ... Second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain withdrew from the event Monday. No reason was provided for the 2018 champion's withdrawal, leaving the event with 12 of the world's top 50 players. ... D.J. Trahan withdrew on Tuesday following a positive COVID-19 test. ... 2019 U.S. Amateur runner-up John Augenstein will make his professional debut. He finished T55 after making the cut at the Masters in November. Other sponsor exemptions include South Korea's 18-year-old Joohyung Kim, fellow teenager Akshay Bhatia and England's 23-year-old Harry Hall. ... Phil Mickelson will serve as the event's host for the second time. ... Landry is seeking to become the event's first repeat champion since Johnny Miller in 1975-76.

BEST BETS: No. 10 Patrick Cantlay (1300 by DraftKings) is the only top-10 player in the field and has posted three consecutive top-20 finishes, beginning with a win at the Zozo Championship. ... No. 11 Patrick Reed (1500) won the event in 2014 and holds the event scoring record of 260. ... Scottie Scheffler (1700) finished third in last year's event and has three top 20s in his past four starts. ... Noted grinder Sungjae Im (2100) is playing for the third consecutive week, following a T5 with a T56 at the Sony Open. ... Brooks Koepka (2100) will make his first start of 2021 but finished T5 at the Houston Open and T7 at the Masters in his past two events. ... Matthew Wolff (2300) is making his first start since missing the cut at the Masters. He finished T61 in last year's event. ... Adam Hadwin (7000) provides longshot odds. The Canadian finished solo second, T3 and T2 from 2017-19 before missing last year's event due to the birth of he and his wife's first child.

NEXT WEEK: Farmers Insurance Open, Torrey Pines, Calif.

LPGA Tour

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

THIS WEEK: Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, Orlando, Fla., Jan. 21-24

Course: Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando (Par 71, 6,630 yards)

Purse: $1.2M (Winner: $180,000); Celebrities/amateurs: $500,000 (Winner: $100,000)

Defending Champion: Gaby Lopez

Race to the CME Globe leader: First event

How To Watch: Thursday-Friday, 12-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-4:30 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 2-3 p.m. (GC), 3-5 p.m. (NBC)

NOTES: The field includes 25 LPGA Tour winners from the past three years in a no-cut event. It also features 53 celebrities and amateurs playing a Modified Stableford scoring format where a bogey is worth one point, a par is worth two points, a birdie is worth three points and an eagle is worth five points. ... Lopez defeated Nasa Hataoka and Inbee Park in a seven-hole playoff last year in which Park was eliminated on the third hole. ... John Smoltz is the two-time defending celebrity champion.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Gainbridge Championship, Feb. 25-28

Champions Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: Charles Schwab Cup Championship (Kevin Sutherland)

THIS WEEK: Mitsubishi Electric Championship, Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii, Jan. 21-23

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

Purse: $1.8M (Winner: $310,000)

Defending Champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Bernhard Langer

How To Watch: Thursday-Saturday, 7-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)

NOTES: This is the first event of the second half of the combined 2020-21 season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. ... The field is comprised of 42 players. Shane Bertsch, K.J. Choi, Darren Clarke, Jim Furyk, Brett Quigley and Mike Weir will make their tournament debuts. ... Hualalai will play host to the event for the 25th time. Hale Irwin has competed in each one, and his 25th start at Hualalai this week is the most of any player at one venue in Tour history. ... Jimenez defeated Fred Couples and Ernie Els in a playoff last year. ... No fans will be permitted at this year's tournament.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Cologuard Classic, Feb. 26-28

--Field Level Media

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