This is the first edition of the “Moving Day Memo”, a short article to catch you up on everything PGA Tour that you missed while you were doing life on Thursday and Friday.
The American Express is a very unique stop on the PGA Tour.
The event is played at three different courses in La Quinta, California; La Quinta Country Club, the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West, and the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West. Each golfer will play each course once (Thursday-Saturday) and then the cut will happen before Sunday’s Final Round at the Pete Dye Stadium Course.
"“I’m sick and tired of these courses. It requires you to hit shots that no sane golfer should be expected to play.” – Tom Watson in 1987 on Pete Dye’s Stadium Course at PGA West."
The Pete Dye Stadium Couse at PGA West is one of the downright craziest, prettiest, most stunningly difficult stops on the Tour’s west coast swing. Don’t believe me? Read this thread from PGATOUR.com’s Sean Martin.
Still don’t believe me? Check out this clip of the EIGHTEEN (18) FEET DEEP BUNKER on the course’s 16th hole.
Oh yeah, and the 17th hole is literally called “Alcatraz”.
Now that you’re thoroughly flabbergasted, let’s catch up on the action from Thursday and Friday; and also what to look for going into the weekend at The American Express.
The 2023 American Express
Tour rookie, Davis Thompson, tore up the front nine at La Quinta, going -8. He finished the day in solo first at -10. He had back-to-back eagles for the first time on Tour since Shane Lowry did it at the 2022 Open Championship.
Sam Burns and Matti Schmid shot the best rounds of the day on the Stadium Course, both throwing up an 8-under-par, 64, putting them in a 5-way tie for second place. Also T-2 were Jon Rahm, Taylor Montgomery, and the best of the day at the Nicklaus Tournament Course, Tyler Duncan.
All but 20 of the 156 golfers were even par or better.
Thompson followed up his stellar Thursday at La Quinta with three more eagles on Friday at the Nicklaus Tournament Course. He posted an 8-under-par, 64, which was good enough for solo first at -18.
Sentry Tournament of Champions winner, Jon Rahm, also posted a 64 at the Nicklaus Tournament Course and now sits alone in second place at -16. Behind Rahm are a slew of familiar names at -13, including Jason Day, Sungjae Im, and red-hot Tom Kim, who shot the round of the day posting a 10-under-par, 62, at the Nicklaus Tournament Course.
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the clip of the tournament so far.
Maybe Tom Watson was right.
Find a list of Saturday’s tee times here.