By: Jake Friedman
The PGA Tour heads over to California this week for the American Express. This is a bit of a unique event as there there is a 3-round cut. The first 3 rounds will be played at different courses on the property, then the cut will be made and the final round will take place where a winner will be crowned.
Please refer to Nate's article for a very in-depth breakdown of the tournament's field, course, and more!
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Scottie Scheffler ($11,400) - Although Scottie seemingly has issues with the putter and can't get himself over the finish line as much as he should, he is always a great option in DFS. A consistent T-5 finisher week in and week out it's hard to ignore how valuable a player like that is in DFS. We all know he is an elite tee to green player and is continuing his historic ball striking numbers from last season. His ceiling is always capped by his woes with the putter but he also has the potential and likelihood of winning every time he tees it up. I'm going to be structuring a couple of my lineups around Scheffler this week.
Tom Kim ($9,900) - When approach and putter are essential the first person who comes to mind is Tom Kim. He is elite in both of those categories as well as in driving accuracy. It was a rare occurrence the last time we saw Tom Kim at The Sentry where he lost strokes with the putter. Last year at this tournament he placed T-6 and I look for him to build on that. I think Tom Kim is a great play in DFS this week regardless of a bit higher ownership.
Justin Thomas ($9,800) - I've been waiting for his first event of 2024 and I'm excited to play Justin Thomas. This could totally come back to bite me like Will Zalatoris has this season, but what we saw in the swing season from JT was very promising. In his 4 appearances, he placed T-12, 5th, 4th, and 3rd. In these 4 appearances he showed that he's on his way back, if not fully back, to his old self and maybe even added a new trick to his bag. He gained in all 4 around the green, in 3 of 4 on approach, and to everyones pleasant surprise, in 3 of 4 with the flat stick. I'm hoping to get a little discount in ownership on Thomas on his first start of 2024.
Chris Kirk ($9,000) - A bonus selection in the 9k range since I left one off the 10k range, I think this is a great price to get Kirk in your lineups. We saw him win the ToC and place T-18 last week at the Sony. He lost strokes around the green and with the flat stick last week which is pretty uncharacteristic. He is an elite approach player which is going to be essential this week. He placed T-3 here last year and mixing in his current form I like his chances this week to have another great finish.
Adam Hadwin ($8,300) - Although Hadwin ruined my lineups for me last week, I'm happy to go back to him here at this price point. Hadwin is above average in driving , approach, around the green and with the putter. Losing strokes with the putter last week was a bit of a fluke as he is a very positive putter over the long term. I think we will also get an ownership discount since he missed the cut last week.
Akshay Bhatia ($8,200) - Akshay is starting to form into a young star on the PGA Tour and at this price point I love him in my DFS lineups. Akshay is above average in driving distance, driving accuracy, approach and around the green. What has held Akshay back is the woes with the putter. He is riding a very hot putter to start the season gaining in both the Sentry ToC and the Sony. I love what I've seen from Akshay to start the season and I look for him to continue and improve his form.
Adam Schenk ($7,600) - Approach and putting are Schenk's bread a butter, and for that reason, I love him as a DFS play this week. To add to his stat profile, he is an accurate driver which never hurts. He was disappointing in his start to the 2024 season at the Sentry ToC but like a few others I talked about he lost with the putter and that's uncharacteristic. With his disappointing start and in a huge pool of players in the 7k range, I think we can get a little discount on ownership on Schenk this week which adds to his value.
Nick Taylor ($7,500) - I'm all over Nick Taylor this week in both the outright and DFS markets. What we saw from Taylor last week after a disappointing Sentry ToC was exactly what I was hoping for (outside of taking it down on Sunday). Taylor is above average in driving , approach, around the green, and with the putter. He has a similar profile to Adam Hadwin who I mentioned earlier as a play this week. With a T-7 last week and a profile that has the potential to succeed at this tournament, I love Taylor this week.
Will Gordon ($6,900) - I don't love this range this week at all, but I do think Will Gordon is the pick of the litter. A long accurate driver who is slightly above average on approach and slightly below average with the putter, if we can catch him with a hot flat stick he can make a meaningful impact on your DFS lineups. With a small gain with the putter at the Sony and a rather large loss on approach, if he can clean up the iron play and stay positive with the putter I like him to make the cut and get you some points in your DFS lineups.
Seamus Power ($6,700) - Power is a very well rounded golfer and I love the value you can get on him at this price point. He is average in all 5 statistical categories I look at, give or take being slightly above or slightly below average, which includes driving distance, driving accuracy, approach, around the green, and putting. Last week at the Sony we saw Power lose over 2 strokes per round with the putter. That is atrocious. As he is a long term average putter, I'm not too worried by last week and if he can turn it around he can be the steal of the week in DFS
Outright Betting Card
Tom Kim +2500
J.T. Poston +3300
Chris Kirk +4500
Nick Taylor +17500
Since it's still early in the week, there's room left to add to my card. Give me a follow on X and join our discord where I'll share the additions I make to my card as the week progresses.
As always, good luck in all your action this week and remember to please bet responsibly!