PGA TOUR Golf Sleepers: 4 Potential American Express Longshot Picks

Written By John Haslbauer on January 17, 2023
golf sleepers

The American Express in La Quinta, California is the next stop for the PGA TOUR. This Pro-Am format has bred easy scoring conditions consistently year over year, and proven to be one of the most volatile weeks to handicap correctly, as three of the last four winners have opened as PGA TOUR golf sleepers with odds beyond 200-1. That creates a perfect recipe to consider longshots, whether it be for your DFS lineups or outright betting cards.

Three of the four sleepers featured in last week’s Sony Open article made their way through the cut, highlighted by a top-20 finish from Ben Griffin. This week we’ll look to keep the momentum going in an event which is far more catered to longshots.

Let’s get to our 2023 American Express longshots and sleepers for your DFS lineups and betting cards. Click on the odds anywhere below to bet now on the best available prices in your state. 

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COURSE INTRODUCTION

The American Express will be played across a rotation the three courses in this week’s Pro-Am format: The Stadium Course, La Quinta Country Club, and Nicklaus Tournament Course. All three courses are short, under 7,200 yards, and play to a par-72 with over-seeded, dormant Bermuda grass and negligible rough.

Pete Dye’s Stadium Course is the most challenging of the three, and will be played twice this week. It will reward precision off the tee much more than the other two courses with water coming into play on about a third of its holes.

It’s no secret that this event has ultimately boiled down to a putting contest over the years, as players with many contrasting skillsets have found a way to win here beyond -20. The common thread has always been top iron play, streaky putting, and a proven ability to go low in easy scoring conditions.

For a deeper dive into the course, read my American Express preview. Without any further delay, let’s get to our American Express picks with a focus on longshots and sleepers for your DFS lineups.

PGA TOUR GOLF SLEEPERS: THE AMERICAN EXPRESS

From a golf betting perspective, this projects to be one of my longest cards of the year, as the all-important skillsets of approach and putting can easily be found further down the odds board.

In terms of DFS, the 54-hole cut should free up lineup construction and allow more risk tolerance. There are plenty of viable options in the low $7K range this week, and even a player or two towards the very bottom of the board who present upside for a putting contest.

Below, find my favorite value DFS options and longshots for the 2023 American Express. Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted.

Lee Hodges (, $7,400)

Lee Hodges was unknown before the 2022 American Express. I owed Lee an apology after watching his T3 performance; I was not familiar with his game.

Hodges was the first round leader here last year and held a share of the lead going into Sunday. He showed impressive poise for a rookie from a ball striking standpoint. He then proved that the high finish was no fluke by posting three additional top-10 finishes at the Honda Classic, FedEx St. Jude Championship, and CJ Cup in the year since. Hodges profiles as a top-tier iron player (No. 15 SG: APP), and has gotten into a groove off the tee, gaining in that category in 12 of his last 13 starts. Ranking No. 33 in SG: TOT over his last 36 rounds, he returns to La Quinta in far better form than he did a year ago, an encouraging sign considering his long odds and short price.

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Callum Tarren (, $7,200)

The longshot I’m most excited to play this week is Callum Tarren. The bomber from England capped off an impressive 2022 rookie year with a runner up finish at the RSM Classic in his most recent start. That rookie year also included top-15 finishes at Puerto Rico Open, John Deere Classic, 3M Open, and Sanderson Farms. His ability to go low on a short positional course like TPC Deere Run in addition to the other driver-heavy events – more suitable to his strengths – are exactly the kind of versatility I’m looking for at this three-course rotation.

Tarren is the only player in this field who ranks top-25 in Driving Distance, SG: APP, and SG: P, the ideal profile for what’s needed to go low at the easier La Quinta and Nicklaus course set ups. If he can continue the hot play from 2022 and gain separation in the easiest conditions, he’ll be set up well to make a top-20 push at this value price.

Mark Hubbard (, $7,000)

2022 was statistically the best season of Mark Hubbard’s seven year career, finishing top-20 in nearly 40% of his starts, highlighted by top-5 finishes at the Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship. He’s hit a bit of a wall since then with four consecutive missed cuts, but a top-5 at the Sanderson Farms earlier this season is still not too far away. Looking more broadly over his last 36 rounds, Hubbard still rates out well, top-10 in SG: APP, Comp Course History, and Par-4: 400-450. He’s also top-20 in SG: TOT (Easy Scoring Conditions) and Good Drives Gained.

Hubbard’s strength of approach play and putting are best suited for a short, birdie fest set up, so I’m comfortable overlooking some of his most recent set backs and taking a chance on his long-term form returning under these conditions.

Kyle Westmoreland (, $6,200)

What better way to cap off your American Express player pool than with this United States Air Force Academy graduate. The 31-year-old rookie has shown plenty more upside this season than his near-bottom price suggests. He finished T27 at the Houston Open and has gained strokes on Approach in each of his last five measured events.

Westmoreland profiles as a pure bomber, making La Quinta CC and the Nicklaus Tournament Course far more suitable to his strengths than the positional tracks he’s missed the cut on recently. You are looking for specialists when you get this far down the board, and Westmoreland presents elite upside in three key areas, ranking top-5 in Driving Distance, Par-5 Scoring, and Par-3: 0-150. Each of these categories have proven decisive over past years at this event, and fit a profile similar to Paul Barjon’s before he surprised with a a T10 at the 2022 American Express. This event never seems to go as planned, so I don’t mind digging this deep at the bottom of the board on a player who brings legitimate top-40 upside.

Best of luck if you choose to bet these PGA TOUR golf sleepers!

THE AMERICAN EXPRESS ODDS: BEST PGA TOUR GOLF BETTING ODDS

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Written by
John Haslbauer

John Haslbauer writes about golf betting and advanced golf metrics for TheLines.com. He is a passionate golf fan, golf writer, and (casual) golfer. A graduate at Syracuse University, John works out of Jersey City as a Director of Media Strategy for HBO and HBO Max. He created the website thepgatout.com at the start of 2021 and is active on Twitter (@PGATout). No, he is not a tout. The Twitter handle is a joke. Touts are lame. We hate touts.

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