The American Express Preview

Preview of The American Express PGA Tour event

Golf Ball and Flag

The American Express is the first PGA Tour event of the calendar year played on United States soil with the 2020 edition taking place between January 16-19.

Formerly known as the Desert Classic, American Express take over the sponsorship this year with a strong field battling to lift the prize.

Adam Long is the reigning champion having won the Desert Classic in 2019 courtesy of a one-shot victory over Adam Hadwin and Phil Mickelson.

The American Express History

The Desert Classic was first created in 1960 and won by Arnold Palmer in the inaugural year.

It has had various names since including the Bob Hope Desert Classic, Career Builder Challenge, Humana Challenge and Palm Springs Golf Classic.

Played across three different courses, the event was previously a five day tournament. But it was changed to a traditional 72-hole event in 2012 with a 54-hole cut.

It is the opening tournament of the West Coast Swing of the PGA Tour season.

The American Express Courses

The American Express is played at PGA West Stadium Course, PGA West Course and La Quinta Country Club. All are 72-par courses measuring around 6,500 metres.

The entire field plays each of the venues across the opening three days before the leading 54 players and ties contesting the final round on Sunday at the Stadium Course.

Bermuda Dunes, Indian Wells Country Club, PGA West Palmer Course, Tamarisk Country Club and Eldorado Country Club are among the past host courses.

Desert Classic Contenders

Adam Long will be one of the former winners in the line-up for The American Express along with Jason Dufner and Hudson Swafford and two-time winner Mickelson.

The field is headed by Rickie Fowler, who is playing in the event for the first time since 2014.

Paul Casey and Francesco Molinari have opted to be in California rather than playing in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the European Tour this week.

Sungjae Im, Tony Finau, Kevin Kisner and Byeong-Hun An are also prominent in the pre-tournament betting markets and will hold hopes of an early season victory.

Last week’s Sony Open runner-up Brendan Steele will look to make amends for sacrificing victory when he lost out to Cameron Smith in a play-off in Hawaii.

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