Top American Express storylines: Strong field, no defending champ and 59 watch?

LA QUINTA, Calif. — As the PGA Tour returns to the Coachella Valley for the 65th time with the 2024 American Express, here are some storylines to watch for this week.

A strong field will tee it up although numbers can be deceiving when it comes to the Official World Golf Rankings and strength of field. Last year the American Express boasted 10 of the top 19 players in the rankings. This year, the number is 10 of the top 25, but officials believe the field is just as strong as last year.

Wyndham Clark, for instance, 10th in the world ranking and winner of last year’s U.S. Open, is back after he also participated in the desert in 2023. Rickie Fowler has worked his way back into the top 25, and players like Justin Thomas and Shane Lowry are in the field this year, bringing major championship credentials with them.

In all, 12 of the top 30 and 20 of the top 50 in the world ranking are playing in La Quinta this week, pretty strong for a non-signature event. Three of the top six players in the world headline the field, including the top three ranked Americans: No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, No. 5 Patrick Cantlay and No. 6 Xander Schauffele.

What other storylines are worth paying attention to?

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