2022 American Express Updated Odds & 7 Picks for Talor Gooch, Will Zalatoris, More
Getty Images. Pictured: Talor Gooch (left) and Will Zalatoris.
Updated 2022 American Express Odds
*Odds via PointsBet as of Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. ET.
|Si Woo Kim||+5000|
|Charles Howell III||+7000|
|Harold Varner III||+10000|
|Davis Love III||+50000|
|Dawie van der Walt||+50000|
|James du Preez||+50000|
|Stephen Stallings Jr.||+50000|
We’re back on the mainland on the PGA TOUR this week after a pair of thrilling finishes in Hawaii.
The American Express field is headlined by a pair of studs in Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay, but there is plenty of quality up and down the oddsboard. Some noteworthy names are making their 2022 debuts, including one outright pick you’ll read about below.
PGA West gives the players a rare three-course setup, which is something players will not often see on TOUR, including a Pete Dye design. None of the courses are especially long, which means the right conditions could lead to more elite scoring, as we’ve seen twice already in 2022.
Our GolfBet staff scoured the board for betting value since only two names stand out at the very top. Check out their picks and breakdowns below.
Sahith Theegala — Top 10 (+1800)
Jason Sobel: I very nearly swung for the fences and made this 250/1 longshot my favorite outright play this week. Instead, I’ll hedge just a bit and list Theegala for a top-10, but I obviously don’t mind a shot on him at that massive outright price, as well.
An all-everything collegiate player at Pepperdine — he won the Haskins, Hogan and Nicklaus awards — the California native is on the verge of big things at the professional level and history suggests it could happen here in his home state.
We won’t be able to get him at these current odds for much longer; I was worried that an opening 65 at last week’s Sony Open would hurt his number for this week, but three subsequent rounds of “only” 69 left him in a share of 48th and left his price untouched.
I strongly encourage a play on him in some form until the books finally realize his impending potential – and at an event which has seen a winner from 200/1 and three others listed only as field bets over the past decade, this feels like the right place to play a big number.
Talor Gooch +2900
Chris Murphy: There are a number of ways I could have gone this week, as I think this course sets up in a similar way, in terms of skill set required, to what we saw at the Sony Open. I am going to roll in with a player that played last week, but lacked the consistency to really contend in Hawaii.
Talor Gooch was a popular pick at Waialae last week, but he ultimately started slowly in the opening rounds, which left him battling to make the weekend. He really put it all together in the back half of his second round and into Saturday, though he couldn’t find that same form on Sunday.
I’ll go back to Gooch here at a course and format that he has played well in the past, and he has shown to be a better player now than he was back then. Gooch has three straight top-20 finishes at this event, including a fourth in 2019, and has always shown an affinity for playing in California. I really like the way things set up for him this week, and if he can hone in on the play he found in rounds 2 and 3 last week, he will be in position to contend for the win on Sunday.
Michael Thompson +8000
Matt Vincenzi: Michael Thompson was one of the most impressive golfers at last week’s Sony Open. The 36-year-old gained 6.5 strokes on approach, was third good for third best in the field. He struggled a bit off the tee, but that shouldn’t be much of a detriment at The American Express since the rough is not overly penalizing on any of the three courses.
In addition to his performance last week, Thompson also has shown he likes playing at PGA West. Last year, he finished in fifth place and also finished ninth at the event in 2019.
Early in the season, journeyman golfers who get hot tend to stay hot for a stretch, and Thompson has been a streaky player throughout his career. At close to triple digits, it makes sense to see if he can roll the momentum into another strong performance this week.
Hayden Buckley — Top 30 (+310)
Rob Bolton: Even though last week’s three-pronged parlay delivered at Waialae, I’m not feelin’ the same for cuts made this week. Sure, the best of the sport get 54 holes to check that box in the Coachella Valley, but the trio of courses put the express in The American Express. The extra round multiplies the possible pitfalls, so I’ll sidestep that trap.
In simplifying the approach, there are a couple of enticing matchups and I was spying the group bets for a change, but hungry, hungry Hayden Buckley is too impressive to ignore.
The PGA TOUR rookie is the only in his class of 27 with as many as two top-10s, and he added a T12 at the Sony Open in Hawaii to pace 24 rookies on Oahu. He led the entire field in fairways hit, ranked second in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and was perfect on 11 attempts from 4-8 feet. As I noted in my commentary here last week, first-timers don’t make much noise in that tournament — oh, he led that contingent, too — so his performance was that much more impressive.
Shifting the focus to the desert, rookies have thrived here. In the last four editions when La Quinta Country Club was included in the rotation (2017-20), of the 83 rookies who have competed, 24 (or 28.9%) finished inside the top 30.
The event not only is a common off-week for more experienced members who would thicken the field, but it also brings the feels of the racetracks that the rookies navigate on the Korn Ferry Tour regularly. Who better than Buckley to keep his rally rolling?
FanDuel has Buckley at +490 for a top-20 finish, but I’ve had it watching too many top-20 props fall just outside that bubble. I want to make the sweat worth it.
Taylor Moore — Top 20 (+320)
Landon Silinsky: Most people do not realize how good Taylor Moore is just yet. He will most assuredly be in the running for rookie of the year in 2022, as I expect him to have a monster season. In his final seven starts on the Korn Ferry Tour before being promoted, Moore went T-7, T-5, WIN, 2nd, MC, T-10, T-10. During his brief stint on TOUR thus far, he’s already posted three top-25’s, including a T-8 his last time out at the RSM.
He can score like crazy and this event should suit him extremely well with an expected birdie fest on tap. We have seen some serious longshots win this event in the past, and I have no problem throwing a penny or two on Moore at 100/1, but the top-20 is the much safer play.
Get in early on this wunderkind.
Will Zalatoris +5000
Bryan Berryman: Zalatoris’ first career season on TOUR fell short of the lofty expectations many had for him, but it’s hard to argue it was anything other than impressive.
Although the first win proved elusive in his rookie campaign, Zalatoris still had five top-10 finishes, highlighted by a second-place finish at the Masters. It’s clear he is an elite talent who will break through at some point.
I think this week sets up really well for him.
As the sample size grew last season, it became apparent that Zalatoris struggled with courses that required accuracy off the tee instead of distance. Over the last 50 tracked rounds, he ranks 17th in distance, but 113th in this field in driving accuracy.
The three-course rotation this week offers a setup that won’t require supreme accuracy off the tee in order to have looks at birdies. The rough on these courses this time of year are all burnt out, meaning the difficulty of hitting out of it drops significantly. Zalatoris ranks fifth in Strokes Gained: Approach in this field in the 50-round sample size, which should give him plenty of opportunities to score.
I like the value in this number.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +6000
Josh Perry: Bezuidenhout is coming off a good ball-striking week at the Sony, where he finished 17th. He’s been playing consistently well for the past year now, missing just one cut in his last 32 starts bouncing between four different tours.