The PGA Tour leaves beautiful Hawaii to head east for more of the west coast swing. This week we get to look for the America Express Sleeper Picks which brings some new challenges as this tournament is played on 3 different golf courses over 4 days. If that’s not hard enough for you, throw in that the PGA tour players are paired up with amateurs as well and you get an event that finding sleepers can be downright exhausting!
The courses that are played this week are:
– Stadium Course at PGA West – 7,113 yards, par 72
– PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament course – 7,159 yards, par 72
– La Quinta CC – 7,060 yards, par 72
The final round is then played once again on the Stadium course.
If you are looking for sleeper picks this week, course history isn’t a great measure so look for other intangibles such as Birdie or Better Conversion % stats, Greens in Regulation percentage and Strokes Gained Approach to Green. Also look for guys that have good par 5 scoring averages since the two easier courses (La Quinta and the Tournament Course) have eagle worthy par 5’s. The Stadium course used to be one of the toughest courses in the US and players fought against playing there. It has since been tamped down a bit but is still a tough final round challenge.
Keep an eye on putting results also from last week’s Sony Open as this is another Bermuda grass tournament and the guys that putt well on Bermuda that played last week could be a tip off for your sleepers list this week.
Our picks for the American Express tournament are for fun but we will once again rely on the guys at GolfStats when we go to make our DFS lineups at DraftKings and FanDuel as well as our bets this week. Golfstats has made us a profit in each of the last 3 years that we’ve used them and helped us cash in some nice outright winners (some that were pretty nice longshot plays too).
Sleeper Picks For The 2021 American Express
Well past his prime as a favorite to win but Phil can still sneak up and pull out a victory, especially in California. He has had some past success playing this event including a 2nd place in 2019 and a 3rd place a few year ago. He would make a decent sleeper pick or longshot bet to win this week although having not played since the Masters in November is a bit of a red flag to consider as well.
Not sure what to make of Fowler’s career anymore. He seemed like his career was on an upswing but then seems to have cooled. He is a local boy but has only played the event twice. Last year was the first time he played all three of the courses and finished in 10th. He could come in a bit rusty having not played since the Mayakoba last fall but he has the talent to win a tournament like this and could build off of his solid showing last year.
Harman played well last week at the Sony Open and has a great track record playing the American Express tournament. He’d be a longshot bet to win outright so I wouldn’t look too much at him there but for some prop bets at Intertops he would be a nice sleeper pick to look at. We had him as a sleeper pick last week and we made a bit of money using him so we will roll the dice again and see if he continues to pay off.
Charles Howell III
Up until last year’s American Express, Howell had a string of 11 straight cuts made. I like him to bounce back this year, especially since he’s playing pretty well right now. He also had a good showing last week and should just like Harman be used in some prop bets this week and take advantage of any favorable betting odds.
McNealy is 1 for 2 in cuts made playing the event and would be more of a longshot to win as opposed to a sleeper pick. However, with the odd set up of 3 courses and amateurs playing this would be one that a longshot could come through in.