The American Express marks the first event of the 2024 PGA Tour season in the continental United States, with a loaded field set to tee off in Coachella Valley on Thursday morning.
Historically known as the Desert Classic, this event is unique in a few ways.
First off, the cut takes place after 54 holes, rather than 36. This allows for the entire field to complete a full round at all three courses in use – La Quinta Country Club, Pete Dye Stadium Course, and Nicklaus Tournament Course. The players will play each course over the first three rounds, before Sunday’s final round is contested at Pete Dye Stadium Course.
A loaded field is headed to PGA West, led by outright favorite Scottie Scheffler (+550), Patrick Cantlay (+900) and Xander Schauffele (+1100). Justin Thomas will make his 2024 debut after narrowly missing out on last year’s FedEx Cup Playoffs, and is +2200 to win outright.
Let’s get into Jason’s tips and predictions for the tournament.
We know that Montgomery is a very good putter. He struggled with his irons in the summer months into the fall last year, and didn’t get the same kind of results. But I think his irons are back.
At the Sony Open, he finished second in the field in strokes gained on approach shots. I love the combination if Montgomery is hitting the irons well, and he always putts it well.
You’ve got to shoot something in the mid-20s under par to give yourself a chance at the AMEX this week. That’s something he can do. I expect him to go low.
Last year, at the end of the year, he was red hot. He finished top-30 in each of his last six starts and nine of his last 10.
This is a guy that has been ready to win on the PGA Tour. I think it’s coming soon and I think it could certainly happen on the west coast, whether it’s this week or at Pebble Beach in a few weeks.
This is a guy I’ve liked for a long time. I am a Keith Mitchell apologist. I look at the analytics, I look at the driving stats, and I use the old eye test, and I say Mitchell should be a guy who’s top-20, top-25 in the world.
It hasn’t quite happened for him yet, but I do believe at some point it’s going to work out for him. He’s going to start popping, he’s going to start playing much better in these events.
Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.