The PGA TOUR heads to La Quinta, California, this week for The American Express. There will be a three-course rotation in play this week for the first time this year. The course that will be played twice — including during Sunday’s final round — is the Pete Dye Stadium Course, which measures as a 7,187-yard par 72, with Poa grass greens.
The other two courses in play are the PGA West Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and La Quinta Country Club, which are both par 72s measuring under 7,200 yards. Each golfer will play all three courses once and then there will be a 54-hole cut after the third round.
The field is stacked, as we have World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler teeing it up, along with Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.
Below, I have outlined three of my favorite DraftKings plays for the week.
Patrick Cantlay ($10,800)
Obviously, it would be easy to just write up Scottie Scheffler here and call it a day, so instead we will opt for Cantlay, who is $600 cheaper and has extremely similar upside at this event. It felt like Cantlay did not play very well at The Sentry, where he gained 3.6 strokes from tee-to-green, but lost on approach. He still finished T12 at Kapalua, and now gets to come back to his home state and play an event where he’s posted a runner-up and two additional ninth-place finishes over the past four years.
Only Scheffler has ranked higher than Cantlay in SG: Ball-Striking over the past 48 rounds in this field, while only Xander Schauffele and Scheffler rank higher in SG: Total. After a somewhat down 2023 season where he failed to record a win, I am expecting big things from Cantlay this year. This week should present one of the best chances he’ll have to win, as we know he loves to tee it up in his home state. At $10,800, he is the preferred pay-up option this week.
Taylor Montgomery ($8,100)
Montgomery showed that his strong Fall swing was no fluke after posting a T10 last week at Waialae. The most ironic part of this is that T-Mont really did not putt well, but instead decided to casually gain 7.1 strokes on approach. The biggest reason for his down 2023 season was by far his ball-striking, so if he’s truly gotten that straightened out, Montgomery is going to be a force to be reckoned with this year.
Only Maverick McNealy, Denny McCarthy and J.T. Poston have gained more strokes putting than Montgomery over the past 48 rounds, and only Chris Kirk has gained more on approach over the past eight. Last year, Montgomery finished fifth at this event and gained both 1.5 strokes from tee-to-green and 1.6 strokes putting per round at the Stadium Course. He appears dialed in right now, and while he did get a decent price bump from last week, Montgomery is still very much a strong option at $8,100
Andrew Putnam ($8,000)
Putnam finished off his final two rounds strong at The Sentry, and then carried that momentum into the Sony Open last week, where he finished T10. He wasn’t particularly good with his irons, but he gained 1.43 strokes off the tee and a very healthy 6.31 on the greens. He’s now coming back to one of his favorite events on the PGA TOUR.
Putnam has teed it up in La Quinta each of the past seven years, while failing to miss a single cut and finishing T21 or better four times, including a T10 in 2020. Putnam’s iron-play is usually his biggest strength, so the fact he finished as high as he did last week is a testament to how well-rounded of a golfer he’s become. Expect his approach numbers to bounce back this week, which gives Putnam easy top-25 upside in La Quinta. He’s a strong mid-range value at $8,000.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is Lan1228) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.