Phil Mickelson is this week's tournament host
The 2020 American Express is set for Jan. 16-19 at the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West, PGA West's Nicklaus Tournament Course and La Quinta CC in La Quinta, Calif. That means it's time to pick your optimal DraftKings fantasy golf lineup. Fortunately, our fantasy golf experts are ready to help.
Here's what our best 2020 American Express lineup looks like in this week's golfer predictions:
Tony Finau ($10,500)
Last season didn't yield the Finau breakthrough that many of us expected, but the flashes of genius have continued to blaze across our TV screens — a T5 at the Masters here, a T3 at the Open there. One of six players with at least 25 top 10s since 2017, Finau is striping it beautifully this season — 4th in SG: Off-the-Tee, 2nd in SG: Approach the Green, 1st in SG: Tee-to-Green, 3rd in SG: Total. He arrives on the West Coast fresh off a solo 5th in Hong Kong on the Asian Tour. Once the putts start dropping, the results will start to match the talent level. That second career win is just a matter of time.
Phil Mickelson ($8,700)
Phil is this week's tournament host. So does that signal his official transition from leaderboard fixture to mere ceremonial golfer? Not so fast. Yes, he missed the Presidents Cup, his first absence from a national team since 1993, and he turns 50 in June. But he looks as physically fit as he's ever been, and he finished second here just last year (after an opening-round 60) before winning at Pebble for the fifth time in his career. He's been great everywhere, but he's a Left Coast legend, with 16 of his career wins coming in California and Arizona.
Vaughn Taylor ($7,900)
Taylor shook off an opening 75 to finish T12 at the Sony, playing 11-under golf the final three days for his third straight top-12 showing. Finished T7 here last year to launch what was a magical year with the blade — 9th in SG: Putting, 4th in One-Putt Percentage. SoCal's wide-open spaces will yield plenty of birdie looks this week, which bodes well for a player of Taylor's dance-floor skills.
Harris English ($7,700)
It's a small sample size, and he hasn't teed it up since November, but English is leading the Tour in top 10s on the young season with four in six outings — all of them T6 or better. His stat profile is really kind of eye-popping: 7th in SG: Off-the-Tee, 12th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 8th in SG: Total, 3rd in GIR, 6th in Scoring. English is speaking our language with those numbers.
Zach Johnson ($7,700)
We keep waiting for vintage Zach to reappear, and there have been glimpses, like four rounds of par or better at the Sony. Strangely, the problem has been his putter, once among the most reliable weapons in golf. He'll have plenty of birdie looks this week; he just needs a few to start dropping to re-open the floodgates.
Brendan Steele ($7,500)
Fresh off of some Honolulu heartbreak — he gagged away a three-shot lead on Sunday, thanks in part to a multi-car pileup at 18 — Steele gets back on the horse this week. Instead of deflated, though, we think he'll be energized after his visit to the Islands. The self-described "California kid" returns to his home state with plenty to build on after his first stroke-play top 10 in almost two years. Tends to play well in the West Coast swing.