2022 The American Express Round 2 Betting & Showdown Picks
After two low-scoring events to start the year with the Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open, the "birdie-fest" rounds on the PGA Tour continued on Thursday as golfers blazed through two of the three courses in the opening round of the American Express. With blue skies and not a sniff of wind, the Nicklaus and La Quinta courses were at the mercy of the players as each played over 2.4 shots under par. As per usual, golfers on the Stadium Course had a tougher time averaging only 0.8 shots under par.
Playing on La Quinta, which is the easiest scoring course on Tour, both Patrick Cantlay and Lee Hodges shot 10-under 62s. One of the pre-tournament favorites, Cantlay started his round 7-under through the first seven holes before cooling off down the stretch. "I got off to a roll at the start and kind of made a bunch of putts and then I kind of lagged on the way coming in," Cantlay remarked. "But I was happy with everything. I thought I did everything well and it's a golf course I really like. It's in perfect shape and so, if you get the ball rolling on line, it should go in."
With the Stadium course playing close to two shots tougher than the other two courses, players who played that course today will have a much easier next two rounds. There is a definite live betting edge to some of those players because their outright odds will most likely drop after today's round as players from the easier courses outpace them on the leaderboard. Obviously, someone like Talor Gooch, who had a terrible round on the Stadium Course (+3), is not going to come back and win this tournament. Someone like Joseph Bramlett, though, who is three shots back, is very interesting at +4000 to win. He has never been in contention before down the stretch, but he did finish 20th at last week's Sony Open and gained 7.7 strokes ball-striking. Today he was spectacular, gaining 6.9 strokes off the tee and on approach. A couple of others in this same scenario to keep an eye on as their round starts tomorrow include Patton Kizzire, Sam Ryder and Roger Sloan. With two of the courses not having ShotLink data, there will be no Strokes Gained sheet for this tournament.
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