This week, the PGA Tour presents the FanDuel/DFS community with The American Express! Let’s take a look at this event from a fantasy golf perspective!
Before I dive into my FanDuel player selections let’s discuss the unique format of this week’s tournament and take a look at the key statistics that I think are the most relevant to a golfer’s success in this event.
The American Express (formerly the Desert Classic) is a pro-am tournament that is contested on three different golf courses over a four day period in California. Unlike most PGA Tour events which have a cut after two rounds, the cut will occur upon completion of the third round on Saturday afternoon. Once the cut has taken place after round three, the remaining 65 golfers and ties will compete in the final round on Sunday.
It should be noted that the final round of competition on Sunday will not have amateur golfers. The relevance of that point is that the final round will likely have much more difficult pin placements for the PGA Tour players since the amateurs will not be competing.
Key facts: Nine of the last ten winners of The American Express played in at least one of the two tournaments in Hawaii before this event. Additionally, only 25 of the top 100 players in the official world golf rankings are in this week’s field.
The key statistics I am focusing on this week are birdie or better percentage, GIR (greens in regulation), proximity to hole and strokes gained approach.
Here are my FanDuel player selections for this week’s American Express.
Sungjae Im $11,600
With all do respect to Rickie Fowler, in my opinion, Sungjae Im is without a doubt the best golfer in the field for this week’s American Express event. Having stated that, Im will be in the majority of my FanDuel lineups.
Why do I like Sungjae Im so much this week? Well, let me break it down with facts. Sungjae Im has played some simply outstanding golf over the last few years. He was player of the year on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2018. In 2019, Im was named rookie of the year on the PGA Tour. Obviously, this man is a very talented golfer.
Let’s take a closer look at Sungjae’s more recent results on the PGA Tour. He finished 11th at the BMW Championship in August, second at the Sanderson Farms Championship in September, third at the ZOZO Championship in October, and finally he finished 21st at last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii.
It should also be noted that Sungjae Im is currently ranked 13th on the PGA Tour in birdie or better percentage (26.19%) and 25th in strokes gained approach (.703).
I also like the fact that Im has shown the ability to perform well at The American Express in the past. Sungjae Im finished 12th at the 2019 American Express event.
Charles Howell III $10,500
He finished 12th at the Sony Open last week. Howell III has three top 20 finishes at The American Express in the last four years.
Vaughn Taylor $9,500
Taylor finished seventh at The American Express tournament in 2019. He also finished second at the Mayakoba Classic in November.
Russell Knox $9,500
He has made the cut in six consecutive events on the PGA Tour. Additionally, Knox finished 20th at the RSM Classic in November.
Zach Johnson $9,200
Johnson has two top 28 finishes in his last three events on the PGA Tour, including a 23rd place result at last week’s Sony Open.
Michael Thompson $8,100
Thompson finished ninth in last year’s American Express event.
As always, good luck!