The American Express One And Done Pick Strategy (2024)

The 2024 American Express has some notable names, but because its tournament purse rank in One and Done pools, you need to be strategic.

Scottie Scheffler will try to win again (Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire)

The American Express is the first tournament of the “West Coast Swing” when it comes to most One And Done golf pools. The tournament is played in La Quinta, California, at three different courses, with the final round taking place at the Stadium course, after a 54-hole cut.

This tournament has a total purse of $8.4 million in 2024, which ranks it tied for 25th in prize money among PGA events and Majors taking place between the start of January and the BMW Championship in late August.

Because it is not one of the “Signature Events” with an elevated prize purse in 2024, you really want to think about balancing future value with your pick selection in One And Done pools. The first place prize in the American Express is just over $1.5 million, so you need to be careful when considering a golfer ranked in the top 15 as your pick this week. If you want to see where this tournament ranks in your specific One And Done pool, you can set up your pool entry in our One And Done Golf product.

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Last Week

We highlighted a strategy of avoiding using the top favorites because they had too much future value for a lower-tiered purse event, and none ended up finishing inside the top 10. Of the six golfers we highlighted as recommendations, Byeong-Hun An (2nd, lost in playoff), Russell Henley (4th) and J.T. Poston (6th) finished inside the top 10. An was likely the highest-scoring player picked in most One And Dones, as tournament winner Grayson Murray was an extreme long shot entering the event, who won his first tournament in six years.

2024 The American Express Field Overview

This analysis serves as a compliment to the data we provide in our Data Grid once you set up your One And Done entry, where you can get customized pick grading based on things like the number of picks you need each week, and the number of tournaments used in your pool.

Here are some notable highlights for the American Express field:

  • Scottie Scheffler, reigning PGA Player of the Year and our top-ranked golfer, highlights the golfers in this week’s field.
  • He is joined by two other of our top six, in Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.
  • Scheffler, Schauffele, and Cantlay are the three biggest favorites to win the tournament, and the only golfers currently with winner betting odds at FanDuel shorter than +2000.
  • Fifteen other golfers ranked between No. 11 and No. 40 are in the American Express field.

2024 The American Express One And Done Pick Strategy

Save Scheffler (and other top golfers)

Scottie Scheffler, our top-ranked golfer, is playing in the American Express this week. Scheffler will probably only play in a handful of the non-Signature events with lower prize purses, but this is one of them. So you need to resist the temptation to use him in this event. Why?

At most, he can win just over $1.5 million this week for you, if he finishes first place. You want to use him in an event where he could win at least $3.6 million for first, and over $2 million for finished in second. At the end of the One And Done season, when we look back, the winning entries will likely have used Scheffler in a spot where he earned more than he can this week.

The same logic applies to Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, both in our top six. With the American Express ranking outside the top 20 in prize purse in most One And Done pools, you typically don’t want to burn a top golfer you may want to use in a bigger event.

A Mix of Old and New Atop the Board

The strategic sweet spot of golfers in the American Express are those outside the top 20 in golfer ratings, but who are in the next tier of options by win odds.

This week, that’s highlighted by one veteran, Justin Thomas, and one relative newcomer, Min Woo Lee. Thomas went through a rough stretch last summer, missing the cut in five of seven events in June and July, causing him to miss out on the FedEx Playoffs entirely (and dropping in our rankings). However, he did post a third-place finish at the Hero World Championships in December, and the veteran with 16 career Tour wins is in consideration in his 2024 debut.

Lee, the 25-year-old Australian, has full PGA card status this year after playing in events last season with temporary status. He posted a 6th place finish at the Players Championship and a 5th place at the US Open a year ago, showing his upside. Lee is also making his 2024 debut at the American Express, but won the Australian PGA Championship in late November.

In addition to Thomas and Lee, here are other golfers that are ranked outside our top 15 in overall golfer rankings, but have implied betting market win odds of 1.5% or higher (+5000 or better):

  • J.T. Poston (No. 18, +3300)
  • Sam Burns (No. 26, +3300)
  • Wyndham Clark (No. 17, +3500)
  • Tony Finau (No. 31, +3500)
  • Jason Day (No. 34, +3500)
  • Chris Kirk (No. 37, +5000)
  • Si Woo Kim (No. 52, +5000)
  • Taylor Montgomery (No. 79, +5000)

Longer Shots

With some of the bigger names in golf occupying the top of the odds list, you may take a position to save even more future value to defer your edge to other events. You don’t necessarily have to go too far down the list, since there are reasonable option in the previous tier. But if you are looking for golfers who are probably not going to be picked much, if at all, in a typical One And Done, here are some long shots we grade the highest (win percentage below +5000).

  • Cam Davis (+5500)
  • Adam Hadwin (+6000)
  • Andrew Putnam (+7500)

2024 The American Express One And Done Picks

Here are our highest graded picks for the American Express in One and Done pools as of Tuesday afternoon. However, the odds can and do change, so check back to our One And Done product up until your pick deadline to see the latest rankings. Your individual pool may also differ slightly in the specific golfers, based on how many tournaments you use and how many picks you need to make in the pool.

  • Justin Thomas
  • Sam Burns
  • Min Woo Lee
  • Tony Finau
  • Jason Day
  • Chris Kirk

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