2023 American Express leaderboard, scores: Jon Rahm looks for his second straight victory

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The most loaded American Express in several years from the beginning we all thought it would be with three top 10 players currently inside the top seven on the leaderboard, including Sam Burns, who currently in second place behind Davis Thompson who shot an incredible 62 on Thursday. .

Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele are among the top stars in the hunt after 18 holes at Palm Springs. More on them in a bit, but first we need to take a look at how Thompson jumped out to an early two-stroke lead over this huge course and whether he can sustain it over the three days which is before us.

The leader

T1. Davis Thompson (-10): The former Georgia star went out in 28 with shots of 59, but came home in par 34 to shoot 62 and take the lead. Thompson is a good young player who won last year on the Korn Ferry Tour and had a pair of top-12 finishes on the PGA Tour this fall. I’m not sure if he can maintain this pace with what’s on his heels, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the mix all weekend.

“Yeah, that was kind of like my biggest challenge today was staying mentally present and trying to put one foot in front of the other,” said Thompson as he tried to not thinking about shooting 59. “Your mind definitely starts to wander a little bit But I’ve played enough rounds where I try to teach myself over and over again that you don’t get ahead of yourself.”

Other contestants

T2. Sam Burns, Matthias Schmid, Taylor Montgomery, Jon Rahm, Tyler Duncan (-8)

T7. Xander Schauffele, Harrison Endycott, Erik Van Rooyen, Denny McCarthy, Dean Burmester, Eric Cole, JT Poston, Michael Block, Sungjae Im (-7)

Schauffle is going to be interesting the rest of the week. He pulled out of the Champions League to start the year with a bad back but played brilliantly on Thursday with just one bogey in a 7-under 65. Rahm, on the other hand, is looking for his second win after each other and it looks every level threatening I have said that it is. I don’t know if he’s going to win this week, but if he does we could be in for the six-win Rahm season that I’ve been calling for. make predictions for the past five years.

Also, there is this.

Contextualizing the golf courses

As this tournament is played on three different courses, it’s worth looking at the course averages for each in Round 1. Here’s a look.

  • Stadium Course – 69.5
  • La Quinta — 69.3
  • Nicklaus — 69.0

These are all par 72s so there isn’t going to be much difference in the scores to par after Round 1. Perhaps a little more surprisingly, the three fairways were separated by just half a stroke so the table is management on Thursday more or less a real management board.

The best stroke

Lucas Glover’s back nearly broke me here. I don’t think he took it back more than a millimeter! Of course when you come in after losing strokes in 18 of your last 21 rounds, you might as well try anything. Glover shot 3 under on the Stadium Course on Thursday even though he lost putting strokes.

Updated 2023 American Express opportunities and selections

  • John Rahm: 12/5
  • Taylor Montgomery: 9-1
  • Sam Burns: 9-1
  • Xander Schauffele: 11-1
  • David Thomson: 16-1
  • Sungjae Im: 18-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 18-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 22-1

You have to think that the ultimate winner comes from this list. I like Burns at 9-1 more than I like Rahm at 12/5 or, say, Cantlay at 22-1. Burns shot a 64 on the most difficult course, and hit the ball beautifully in the process. He hasn’t been playing his best golf lately, but I think he’ll be there on Sunday afternoon, and I think he’ll have a good chance of going in. to the weekend much shorter than 9-1.

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