The PGA Tour continues to move through the west coast of America this week when the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am takes place with the stars of golf getting to partner up with celebrities for a week of fun on the Californian coast line.
Daniel Berger enjoyed himself here last year and walked off with the title. He was due to be back to defend the title but he withdrew on the eve of the event so we are guaranteed a different winner on Sunday.
2021 – Daniel Berger
2020 – Nick Taylor
2019 – Phil Mickelson
2018 – Ted Potter Jr
2017 – Jordan Spieth
2016 – Vaughn Taylor
2015 – Brandt Snedeker
2014 – Jimmy Walker
2013 – Brandt Snedeker
2012 – Phil Mickelson
Every professional in the tournament is paired up with an amateur player to play each of the three courses once over the first three rounds of the competition. Once those three rounds are completed the leading 60 pros and 25 pairings quality for Sunday with the tournament concluding over the delightful Pebble Beach course.
After a change because of Covid restrictions last year we are back to the normal setup which means the usual three courses are in play this week which are Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill and Monterrey Peninsula. Spyglass Hill stretches beyond the 7,000 yard mark but it is a par 72 like Pebble Beach so it isn’t exactly long. The courses will be set up quite easy with the amateurs playing so once again we are in for another low scoring affair.
This isn’t a week where pounding the life out of the ball is required but it does no harm if you can do that because we are looking for a winning total well into the 20s under par. The big factors are accuracy with the irons and a hot putter. You won’t be winning around these tracks if you don’t hole a serious amount of putts. Keep players suited by the wind in mind given that we are on the coast for half the event.
This tournament clashes with the big money one out in Saudi Arabia so the field isn’t as good as it has been throughout the test of time but there are still some established stars taking to the course this week. Patrick Cantlay, the FedExCup champion, is the leading light this week but there are plenty of other names who will be looking for a big week. They include the former champion Jordan Spieth, Australian star Jason Day and the former US Open champion Justin Rose.
Plenty of other good players are in the field this week such as Matthew Fitzpatrick, Seamus Power, Kevin Kisner, Ryan Palmer and Brian Harman. DP World Tour star Min Woo Lee also tees it up this week as do the likes of Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Stewart Cink. They will all be out with the stars of screen and sport which includes Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen who is playing this tournament rather than the Pro Bowl.
Patrick Cantlay is a 13/2 favourite to win the tournament this week. He is the clear standout man in the field but this event can become a bit of a lottery depending on when and where the wind blows and who is on what could when it does. The FedExCup champion should win the tournament if everything is even. Cantlay has top 10 finishes in his last four starts and he was third here last year. He is the one to beat but I’m happy to let him win at the price given the quirky nature of this tournament.
Jordan Spieth won this tournament in 2017 and he has finished in the top 10 of it in the last two renewals so he will be confident that he can justify 18/1 quotes on arrival. His form hasn’t been the best in recent times though so it appears he hasn’t been a beneficiary of the ‘Nappy Factor’ just yet. Spieth is one of the best putters in the game though so if he can get the rest of his game sorted out then there is no reason why he can’t be in contention here. Others look better value though.
Jason Day will start the week as a 20/1 shot after contending throughout the four days at Torrey Pines last week. I guess the immediate issues with the Australian is whether his fitness is such that he can go deep this week too. If it is then you would imagine he will have a big say in this event when you consider he has had eight top 10s here so clearly enjoys the relaxed format and the courses it is played on. I think better value lies elsewhere again though.
Maverick McNealy is going to be a popular pick this week as it is well known that his parents used to holiday here so he has played the course a number of times. One concern could be form as McNealy opened the campaign finishing second at the Fortinet but hasn’t registered a top 10 since then however in the last two years here he has finished fifth and then second. If you can accept his recent form then he is likely to be on your shortlist given his putting prowess.
I’m not going to go too mad in this tournament because it isn’t an event I enjoy nor one where you can make strong predictions because of the three courses on the rota but I do think Justin Rose is back playing well again and if there is a logical display to this tournament then on his best form he is more than good enough to be contending around here. He has a couple of top 10s at Pebble, one in this event in 2016 and then at the US Open in 2019 so we know he can handle the tracks and his putting has been very consistent in recent weeks which is so often the weakness of his game. He showed signs that 2022 could be a very good year for the Englishman at Torrey Pines last week. Usually I would ignore him this far out from The Masters but the fact he tees it up in this event for the first time since 2017 could be a sign he means business. I’ll pay to find out.
I’ll also go with two outsiders this week. The equation is simple for both of them. They rank well on strokes gained approach or proximity to the pin and they are high up in strokes gained putting recently. Keith Mitchell is a tournament winner at this level and I would imagine he’ll get a real buzz out of playing alongside Josh Allen here. He has shown decent enough form this season. Although he missed the cut last week he was third at the CJ Cup and then seventh at the Sony Open at the beginning of the year. He could be a big price.
The same goes for Satoshi Kodaira. The Japanese ace has top 20 finishes in his last four starts worldwide where his putter has really started to cooperate. He leads the PGA Tour this season for proximity to the hole so if he puts those together this week he shouldn’t be far away. Kodaira will have seen Matsuyama playing well recently and he’ll no doubt want a piece of the pie. He isn’t the longest in the field so there are some tracks he won’t be able to compete on with a lack of length. These aren’t among them so I’ll pay to see how he goes.
Back J.Rose to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 26.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-8)
Back him here:
Back K.Mitchell to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-8)
Back S.Kodaira to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for a 0.5/10 stake at 126.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-8)
Back them here: