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  • Writer's pictureTom Ford

Tom Ford's golf betting tips: The American Express preview and bets


Xander Schauffele

Tom Ford's American Express Golf Tips

Xander Shauffele – 2pts win (15/1)

Chris Kirk - 1pt Win (60/1)

Ashkay Bhatia - 1pt Win (75/1)

Taylor Montgomery – 1pt Ew (42/1) 10 Places

Tom Hoge - 0.5pts EW (80/1) 10 Places

Ryo Hisatsune - 0.5pts EW (100/1) 10 Places


Grayson Murray, who …

A name not familiar with many won on the PGA tour last week in Hawaii, a man battling with addiction who worked hard for 3 years at his golf game, a story similar to last week’s winner in Chris Kirk, who a year ago did a similar thing and these are real heartwarming stories we love to read and hear about, making golf more than just a game on closely cut grass.


Murray battled with alcoholism and his golf game to become a 2nd time winner on the PGA Tour and the way he did it down the last just showed how much resilience he must have. The worst tee shot in a playoff hole against a multiple winner in Keegan Bradley and a young in-form stud in Ben An, really was a complete surprise to everyone that was watching. If you haven't seen a clip yet, Murray was 290 yards back off his tee shot which hit a tree off the tee and looked down and out until a layup enabled him to hole a 30 ft’er on 18 to take the Sony Open title.


More shocks and surprises to come I’m sure as we really get into the meat of 2024.


We are back in the Dessert with 3 courses…

So this week, we move onto the American Express. Now as some of you may know, the American Express is played over three courses all fairly similar in length and strength, with two rounds being played on the stadium course at PGA West. The stadium course can play the hardest of the 3 depending on weather but we’ve seen in recent years that it has become a lot easier for this field to take advantage, with many 64’s and 65’s recently. We think the other two courses are not as strong but we actually don’t really know much, because amazingly, there is still no shot data at the tournament course or La Quinta country club. As a result you will see many of the top players like JT, Fowler, Scheffler playing the stadium course over the whole weekend because of the TV coverage which I believe gives those players a serious advantage playing the same course twice back to back.


The stadium course, though just based on scores to par, seems to be a little bit harder than the other two, Pete Dye design and its short, 7,187 yards, Par 72. It’s a desert-type resort course and even though we see Tifgreen Bermudagrass on the fairways and short Ryegrass in the Rough, the Green’s are not that easy to predict; they all have POA overseed, this is not regular Bermuda. This tends to put the emphasis on just good putters this week; not least the birdie fest we are going to get but it’s not really a place where we can look at golfers who are better on Bermuda or Bentgrass greens.


In previous years we’ve seen huge odds win here like in 2022 we saw Hudson Swafford win at a massive 250/1 and a couple of years ago we saw Andrew Landry and Adam Long win at huge odds so it really comes down to the best putter on the week. As predicted last year however, I didn’t think we’d see this big odds win again, the field gets better every year and Rahm showed us last year that if you are in form and your putter is hot and you are playing the stadium course back to back you can really be lightyears ahead of the rest of the field.


Golf Tips Checker Packages

Previous Winners

2023: Rahm 10/1 2022: Swafford 175/1; 2021: Kim 66/1; 2020: Landry 200/1; 2019: Long 600/1; 2018: Rahm 10/1; 2017: Swafford 66/1; 2016: Dufner 40/1; 2015: Haas 30/1; 2014: Reed 135/1; 2013: Gay 80/1; 2012: Wilson 125/1; 2011: Vegas 200/1; 2010: Haas 100/1. Past 9 Renewals Average: 147/1; Overall Average: 131/1.


Early looks & Data

This week I have set a similar model to previous years and without going on too much about the putting and how important it’ll be, I think some emphasis should be put on form, and not just the strongest putters in the last two weeks but also though who come here with confidence in their game.


Approach play however will be and is just as important as it is most weeks, I expect 20% of my model to show that and I like players that are good with their Prox. Approach between 150-175 yards. This kind of range for me is where most 2nd shots are going to be played so I can lead on that data too. This is a similar kind of range we see at The Players (TPC Sawgrass) and at Waste management in phoenix, so look for some correlation there if you are really trying to pick up someone off your shortlist so to say.


With a scoring average of 69 in 2023, the stadium course (which they play twice) actually was the 3rd easiest course on tour last year so expect scoring to be well into the mid 20’s under par once La Quinta and Dye have been navigated through to Sunday. Also Power and length is not as important here and the par 5’s play a lot tougher than we have seen over the past few weeks. That being said, my focus will be on the Par 3’s which seem to take a strong strokes gained narrative for winners and top places in the Amex over the last 10 years, something other models may not take in.


Ideally crisp wedge play and leaving yourself ideal yardages will be the key here on the toughest holes, and that’s whether you are shooting for birdie or fighting for par, otherwise you are instantly losing shots on the rest of the field. Another element in this week's model will be sand saves, there are more bunkers here on this course than what looks like the whole of California (that’s obvs a joke) but the bunkers are large in places and if you are not selective and clever with short and long bunkers shots then you are already a couple of shots behind the field.

All in all, considering there are 3 courses, there is not too much to examine or get really specific with. This is shoot your lowest score in a hot dome like desert and don’t look back, and its as i say every year a bit of a calculated lottery in terms of the betting angle.

 

My model to help with my picks this week is as follows;

SG Approach

SG Putting

Proximity from 150-175 yards

Putting (No. of Putts per round)

Event form

Short course form

Previous tournament top 10’s

Par 3 Performance

Driving Accuracy

Sand Saves

Birdies per round

Bermuda Positive

 

Top 20 players based on that model;

1            Xander Schauffele            10/1

2             Scottie Scheffler               6/1

3             Tom Kim                             25/1

4             Eric Cole                             35/1

5             Patrick Cantlay                  17/2

6             Taylor Montgomery        50/1

7             Sungjae Im                         18/1

8             Sam Burns                          33/1

9             JT Poston                            28/1

10           Tom Hoge                          75/1

11           Rickie Fowler                     40/1

12           Adam Hadwin                   60/1

13           Grayson Murray                175/1

14           Sam Ryder                          150/1

15           Chris Kirk                            45/1

16           Tony Finau                         35/1

17           Minwoo Lee                      28/1

18           Andrew Putnam               60/1

19           SiWoo Kim                         45/1

20           Jason Day                           35/1

 

 

It’s not my style really to pick a short placed Favourite so when I do, take note. The others really do have great chances despite the shot in the dome type tournament we have here. Good luck to you all please interact and follow me @fordysgolfpicks and my site www.drawshankgolf.com where I will be starting and re-launching Drawshank Fantasy Golf, very soon.


Selections

Xander Shauffele – 2pts win (15/1)

Start here this week. Best on tour last year for Greens in Regulation on the PGA Tour and also the best approach from my ideal range between 150-175 yards. If i didn’t pick him here I’d play him at The Players in a couple of months and why not get in the green early hey. Could shoot really low, has the advantage of the stadium course back-to-back over the weekend.


Chris Kirk - 1pt Win (60/1)

Unassumingly playing the best golf of his life. Performed well last week after his win two weeks ago and it more of a birdie maker than anyone right now. Imagine reading that without seeing his odds, 60/1 is the biggest steal of the whole field.


Ashkay Bhatia - 1pt Win (75/1)

Slowly making a name for himself in these smaller events and I could of told you that 6 months ago. 30th best on tour for putting and only trending upwards. Has a birdie or better range in this field top 5 and is 12 best on tour inside that ideal range again of 150-175 yards, yes please Ashkay.


Taylor Montgomery – 1pt Ew (42/1) 10 Places

I called a win for Montgomery on tour last year and it started to annoy me when it didn't happen. I can confidently say I’m over his blip during the summer and now he’s showing signs of revival. Obviously been working on his approach game in the fall because the comparison is mind blowing. Come off a great week last week and he’s continuing to knock on the door, hot putter week and will go close.


Tom Hoge - .5pts EW (80/1) 10 Places

5th best player in this field for approach and the 8th best putter on tour last year inside 20 feet, get him on a good week and that’s another for me to launch my coin for the second year running.


Ryo Hisatsune - .5pts EW (100/1) 10 Places

Ryo is a rookie this year on the PGA tour after winning in Europe in France on the DP World tour and also completing his season with 4 top 5’s, impressive. Has made some noise the last two weeks and interestingly has gained over 5 strokes putting in the last 4 weeks on tour, guy has got some game.


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