Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm among 10 players to watch in 2023 American Express tournament

Scottie Scheffler hits his second shot on the 5th hole during the American Express at La Quinta Country Club in La Quinta, Calif., Thursday, January 20, 2022.

Every player in a PGA Tour event is a good player and worth keeping an eye on during the week. But some players are more intriguing than others.

Here are 10 players who could be at or near the top of the leader board Sunday at The American Express:

Scottie Scheffler

Maybe Scheffler is a different golfer than the guy who played in the 2022 American Express and finished 25th. After that, he went on to win four tournaments, capped by a victory at the Masters, and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year in a vote of his fellow players. Scheffler’s year included runs at the U.S. Open and the Tour Championship as well. He’s a favorite most times he tees off.

Jon Rahm

Rahm, the 2018 American Express winner, is capable of winning each time he tees off. He again won on both the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour last year, and won just two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. He’s one of the players to watch in every major championship. Rahm’s love of the American Southwest means he focuses on playing well in those tournaments. That could include a second title at The American Express.

Tony Finau

Finau had the breakout year everyone had been expecting from him in the 2021-22 season, with three wins. Finau has been a fixture in La Quinta since American Express took over as the sponsor, and he’s been a fixture on the leaderboard as well. Now that he’s won multiple tournaments in a year, a title at The American Express is more of a possibility.

Si Woo Kim

Kim won the desert tournament in 2021 with critical birdies on the 16th and 17th holes Sunday. He was in the mix again last year before eventually drifting back to a solid 11th-place finish. Kim is 39-under par for his last eight rounds at the tournament.

Patrick Cantlay

Cantlay has been even better than Kim over the last two years in the desert, reaching 40-under par for eight rounds. Cantlay finished second to Kim in 2021 and placed ninth in 2022. There is no reason to think this now-consistent winner won’t threaten again in the tournament.

Xander Schauffele

The San Diego native hasn’t been in the desert since 2017, but he returns as one of the game’s top players. Schauffele is a bit of a wild card in this tournament in terms of the golf courses and playing in a pro-am, but his pedigree is enough to think he can find at least a top-10 finish.

Tom Hoge

Is Hoge the new king of the pro-am? Maybe. A strong second-place finish in The American Express last year was followed by a victory, his first on the PGA Tour, at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am. Hoge collected four other top-10 finishes last season and already has two this season. He played well on the West Coast last year, obviously.

Tom Kim

A star on the International team of the Presidents Cup, Kim now has his second title on the PGA Tour with a victory in Las Vegas last October. Kim played in The American Express in 2021, missing the cut. But he has grown leaps and bounds since then as a player and is now a consistent threat from week to week.

Sungjae Im

Im has played in The American Express three times and posted finishes of 12th, 10th and 11th. That kind of consistent play, along with two PGA Tour victories, makes him dangerous in this tournament field. He also seems to like desert golf, as shown by finishes of first and seventh, respectively, in the last two years in Las Vegas.

Will Zalatoris

Zalatoris made a strong debut in The American Express in 2022, contending in the tournament after 36 holes and finishing tied for sixth. The only question here is his health as he missed the second half of the 2021-22 season with back pain. Zalatoris returned to the tour at the Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks ago, and a healthy Zalatoris could go low and win in La Quinta.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: American Express: Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay among players to watch