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The American Express Preview

The American Express

The American Express is the first PGA Tour event of the calendar year played on United States soil with the 2021 edition taking place between January 21-24.

Formerly known as the Desert Classic and most recently the CareerBuilder Challenge, American Express took over the sponsorship last year for the first time.

Andrew Landry is the reigning champion having won the first of the West Coast Swing events in 2020. The American recorded a two-shot victory over Abraham Ancer.

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 2020/21 PGA Tour season.

The American Express Courses

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

Played as a pro-am event, 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.

For 2021, the event will be played only on the PGA West Stadium Course and the PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course with the pro-am cancelled due to coronavirus.

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

American Express Golf Contenders

World number two Jon Rahm heads the field of contenders for the 2021 The American Express in California.

Rahm, who won The American Express in 2018, was tied seventh in the Tournament of Champions on his first appearance since joining Callaway.

Rahm looks set to be joined at PGA West Stadium by major winners Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland and Patrick Reed. There will be no Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas or Rory McIlroy though.

Defending champion Andrew Landry and runner-up Abraham Ancer will be back for another crack. Other former champions will also tee it up including Phil Mickelson, Adam Hadwin, Jason Dufner, Brian Gay, Bill Haas, Steve Jones, Adam Long, Hudson Swafford and Mark Wilson.

Other big names in the field are Patrick Cantlay, Si Woo Kim, Jimmy Walker, Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Byeong Hun An and Sungjae Im.