Si Woo Kim is a popular pick this week not only for being a past champion at The American Express, but for winning last week’s Sony Open in Hawaii.
We’ll start with his success in Palm Springs. The South Korean feels right at home in California with four top-40s and three top-11s in five appearances.
His first time seeing the Stadium course was back in 2012 when he advanced through PGA Tour Q School here. In 2016, he made his tournament debut by finishing T-9th.
After T-40th in 2019 and a withdrawal due to back issues in 2020, the mercurial Kim fired 66-68 at Nicklaus and Stadium and closed with 67-64 at Stadium to finish at -23 and hold off a hard-charging Patrick Cantlay by a shot in 2021. La Quinta was not in the rotation that year as part of COVID-19 limitations.
Kim made just two bogeys all week and led the field in greens in regulation (81.94%). He was also first in strokes gained tee to green (11.622).
He had a solid title defense last year to take T-11th. Kim never truly contended, but four rounds in the 60s will earn you good money any week on the PGA Tour. He opened at La Quinta and Nicklaus before playing the weekend at Stadium.
Kim was second in birdies (38), but six bogeys are far too many at a birdie-fest like The American Express.
Last week, the 27-year-old came back from three shots off the lead entering Sunday to beat a crowded leaderboard by one. Kim posted 67-67-64-64 at Waialae to secure his fourth PGA Tour victory.
This was his second top-10 of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season and third made cut in as many tries.