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The biggest field of the young year will step foot onto PGA West for the 2023 American Express this week. Featuring 156 players, competitors will be tasked with lugging along their playing partners as the first of two California pro-ams is set to take place. Spread across three different golf courses within the PGA West facilities, The American Express will feature a 54-hole cut rather than the standard 36-hole cut seen on a weekly basis.

Set upon the Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West and La Quinta Country Club, The American Express has been considered by some to be a "putting contest." That someone responsible for coining such a description is world No. 5 and recent Tournament of Champions winner, Jon Rahm.

Rahm will headline the action, and is joined by a surprisingly strong field for a standard, non-designated PGA Tour event. In fact, 10 of the top 20 players in the world will play in The American Express including world No. 2 Scottie Scheffler and world No. 6 Xander Schauffele, who returns to action following a withdrawal from the Tournament of Champions.

Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Will Zalatoris, Cameron Young, Sam Burns, Tom Kim and Sungjae Im round out the long list of big names looking to kick-start their year in the Coachella Valley.

Event Information

Event: 2023 American Express | Dates: Jan. 19-22
Location: PGA West (Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course, La Quinta CC) -- La Quinta, Calfornia
Par: 72 | Yardage: 7,060 | Purse: $8,000,000

Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter and Patrick McDonald to preview the 2023 American Express. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

2023 American Express field, odds

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

  • Jon Rahm (6-1): Oh how the turn tables have turned. A year after expressing his displeasure with the setup of this tournament, Rahm arrives as one of the best putters in the world over his last seven measured events. During this span, the Spaniard has averaged +1.46 strokes gained putting per round, nearly double what Tour leader Lucas Herbert averaged in 2022. This has led to three victories including his 2023 debut at the Tournament of Champions. He, oddly enough, lost strokes on approach at Kapalua, but given his familiarity with the desert setting, a bounce back with the irons should be in store for the 2018 champion.
  • Scottie Scheffler (10-1): The highest-ranked player in the field, Scheffler nearly recaptured world No. 1 status at the Tournament of Champions before a poor final round. Ultimately finishing T7, his performance at Kapalua marked his sixth top-10 finish in his last seven starts. He leads this field in strokes gained tee to green over the last six months, averaging +1.94 strokes gained per round as the putter finally showed some sign of life. If he can continue to hole putts with some regularity, he will get back into the winner's circle.  
  • Patrick Cantlay (11-1)
  • Tony Finau (14-1)
  • Sungjae Im (18-1): Im's missed cut at the Sony Open was surprising and marked only his fourth missed weekend over his last 25 starts on the PGA Tour. The good news for the South Korean is he returns to a tournament where he has consistently played well. In his four prior trips to Palm Springs, Im has notched finishes of T11, T12, T10 and T12. On the edge of contention in each instance, perhaps his fellow countryman winning the Sony Open will provide the motivation to propel him into the mix.
  • Will Zalatoris (20-1)
  • Xander Schauffele (20-1): This is a new spot on the playing calendar for Schauffele, who hasn't played in The American Express since his rookie year in 2017. Forced to withdraw during the second round of the Tournament of Champions due to a back injury, all systems appear good to go to reenter competition. Before his early exit from Kapalua, Schauffele was riding finishes of 4th, T9, 4th, T3. With a strong background in desert golf, don't be surprised if the world No. 6 is right there come Sunday.
  • Cameron Young (20-1)
  • Tom Kim (20-1): Of course the 20-year-old plays well at Kapalua and then implodes at Waialae Country Club. While on paper the latter was the more ideal fit, Kim continues to defy conventional wisdom. A winner in the desert of Las Vegas at the Shriners Children's Open, the PGA West rotation should be right up his alley. Over the last 12 months, Kim ranks first in this field in terms of proximity from 100-150 yards and first from 150-200 yards. After losing nearly seven strokes on the greens of Waialae, just a return to his baseline with the putter will allow him to factor for his third PGA Tour title.
  • Sam Burns (28-1)

2023 American Express expert picks

Winner (20-1): It was at this tournament a year ago where Young experienced his first heartbreak of 2022. Entering the final round three strokes off the lead, Young signed for a 5-over 77 to ultimately finish in a share of 40th. Since then, all he has done is continue to contend, garnering seven podium finishes in the 2021-22 season and winning Rookie of the Year honors. The New York native can get the job done in a number of ways, and despite the inclination of him contending at major championships, birdie shootouts are right up his alley as well. Over the last six months, Young ranks inside the top 20 of this field in strokes gained off the tee, driving distance, birdies or better, par-5 scoring and proximity from 100-125 and 150-175 yards.

Contender (45-1): The Australian knocked the rust off last week at the Sony Open with a respectable T32 result. Finishing the week second in strokes gained off the tee and 10th in strokes gained tee to green, the 27-year-old returns to Palm Springs for the first time since 2021. It was that year where he nearly chased down Si Woo Kim before ultimately finishing solo third. A winner later in the season at the Rocket Mortgage, Davis has proven to have what it takes to contend in a birdie fest. He is as long as they come and ranks fifth in birdies or better, third in par-5 scoring and 15th in proximity from 100-125 yards over the last six months.

Sleeper (50-1): If he putts well, Theegala typically finds a way to meander onto the first page of the leaderboard. In his last five instances of gaining at least four strokes on the greens, the 25-year-old has collected finishes of T2, T6, T15, T2 and T3. Theegala may have an extremely low floor -- he implodes with the best of them -- but his ceiling is equally as high, as outlined by those finishes above. With a tendency to be erratic off the tee, the wide-open nature of the PGA West rotation should play right into his hands.