Patrick Cantlay took over as favourite for The American Express after Jon Rahm withdrew from the tournament on Monday night – and the Californian will be relishing the chance to compete in his home state again.
Cantlay won the Zozo Championship the last time the PGA Tour visited the Golden State, emerging triumphant despite going up against Rahm and Justin Thomas down the stretch at Sherwood Country Club.
He tackles a much weaker field for The American Express than he overcame in the Zozo and his fans will be lining up to take the
12/1 available about him claiming a fourth Tour victory on Sunday.
Cantlay is the world number ten – the highest-ranked player in attendance in La Quinta this week. Two courses are being used for the event – the Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament Course, which are both on the PGA West site. Three of the four rounds are at the Stadium Course.
Reed Eager to Put Fitness Concerns Behind Him
Patrick Reed contended early on in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in his first start of the year, but he faded badly, and subsequent comments about the state of his feet were probably the reason for his drop down the Kapalua leaderboard.
Reed, who left Nike at the end of the year and had a new brand of shoe on for his opening spin of 2021, complained of shin splints and blisters in the wake of the Sentry.
The injuries were so bad that he withdrew from the Sony Open the following week, so punters have to take it on trust that the 2018 Masters champion is back to full health for The American Express.
If fitness is not an issue, the
14/1 could prove a massive price about a player who has been performing consistently well. Reed, who won this tournament in 2014, had six top-15 finishes in a row prior to his problems in Hawaii.
Ancer Could Be the Solution to Punting Puzzle
Abraham Ancer is hugely unlucky to remain a PGA Tour maiden – he has finished runner-up three times and has suffered at the hands of some inspired opponents.
This could be the week the Texas-based Mexican finally makes his breakthrough and plenty of punters will be interested in the
Ancer fired rounds of 66 and 63 on the Stadium Course on his way to second place in last year’s American Express, so he will be thrilled that the track is staging 54 holes this week. La Quinta Country Club – the course where Ancer has been less effective – has been axed from the tournament roster.
The 29-year-old almost won the RBC Heritage in June, firing a Sunday 65 only to see Webb Simpson go one shot better and pip him.
Ancer, known as Abe to his pals, greatly impressed on his Presidents Cup debut in 2019, ending up as joint top-scorer, and he won the Australian Open in fine style in 2018.
*All odds correct at time of writing.