Patrick Cantlay has been one of the best scoring averages at The American Express over the last three years.
His best result came in 2021 when he posted 65-61 on the weekend to nearly come all the way back and win after a lackluster start. Cantlay ended up one back of Si Woo Kim.
The Long Beach, California, native tacked on another top-10 in 2022. Cantlay opened with a blistering 10-under 62 at La Quinta and remained in the mix with a 4-under 68 at Nicklaus.
He was unable to replicate the magic from the year prior at the Stadium course. Cantlay finished in 68-72 to take solo ninth place.
The UCLA alum continued his streak of rounds of par or better at this event en route to T-26th last year. Cantlay posted 68 at La Quinta, 66 at Nicklaus, and 71-65 on the weekend at Stadium.
Cantlay sees this event as a good way to ease into a busy stretch of golf. He shared his thoughts last year in a transcription from ASAP Sports:
"I think obviously it's target golf this week," Cantlay said. "Starting off the year with great weather like this and not a lot of wind on a golf course that's for the most part target golf is a good way to start your year. I've enjoyed coming here the last few years and I'm just happy to be here starting the year on the West Coast."
Cantlay comes to Palm Springs off of a week of rest. In his last start at The Sentry, he posted four rounds in the 60s and finished T-12th.
Cantlay was one of the best players not to win in 2023. The 31-year-old notched eight top-10s in just 19 starts, including a solo second in the Playoffs at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
Cantlay was 57th or better last season on the PGA Tour in every Strokes Gained category. He was third in SG: Total (1.869), third in SG: Tee-to-Green (1.564), and fourth in SG: Off-the-Tee (.852).
He’s also first in going for the green percentage (76.17%), hitting the green ahead of regulation on more than three out of four attempts. That helps Cantlay rank first in par-4 scoring average (4.44) and second in birdie average (4.5).