A loaded field consisting of 10 of the world’s top 19 players has made its way to the California desert for the American Express at PGA West.
World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler and No. 4 Jon Rahm are the two betting favorites while Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris are the other top 10 players set to tee it up Thursday.
With a three-course rotation used over the first three rounds, the cut will be made after 54 holes. Pete Dye’s Stadium Course will host the final round Sunday.
We already covered some of the best bets for the week, highlighted by Zalatoris and Tony Finau, but now it’s time to take a look at some long shots.
Jason Day (+7000)
Jason Day plays his shot from the ninth fairway during the third round of the Memorial Tournament. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The swing changes Jason Day has made over the last year to take the stress off his lower back are finally starting to pay dividends.
In six official starts this season (he tied for 10th at the QBE Shootout), Day has missed two cuts, however, when he’s made the weekend he’s finished T-21 or better with two top 10s.
Day ranks ninth in Strokes Gained: Approach while his usual strength, rolling the rock, is lacking a bit as he ranks outside the top 100 in SG: Putting. If he can heat up that red TaylorMade Spider of his, watch out for the Aussie.
Denny McCarthy (+8000)
Denny McCarthy of the United States plays his shot from the 11th tee during the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on January 12, 2023, in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jon Rahm went viral at last year’s American Express when a fan caught him saying “It’s a f*****g putting contest,” voicing his frustration toward course setup.
So, if that’s the case, why not back one of the best putters on Tour?
Denny McCarthy tied for 32nd at Waialae last week while not having his best stuff, iron-wise. He’s missed the cut at PGA West in three of his last five appearances, however, McCarthy tied for sixth in 2022.
Rickie Fowler (+9000)
Rickie Fowler hits from the fairway during the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.
I don’t want to alarm anyone, but Rickie Fowler might be back.
He’s had a solid start to the 2022-23 campaign thus far, finishing T-6 at the Fortinet Championship and T-2 at the Zozo.
The 34-year-old has made substantial changes to his swing, most notably getting rid of his patented laid-off position at the top. It’s odd seeing such a textbook move being produced by the fan favorite.
Fowler missed the cut at PGA West last season, however, in 2021 he tied for 21st and the year before finished T-10.
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Listen to Riley Hamel and Andy Nesbitt on this week’s episode of Twilight 9! The boys discuss Si Woo Kim’s win at the Sony Open, preview the American Express and make a few picks for the week. Plus, Justin Thomas stops by for a quick chat!