The stars of golf mingle with the pick of the stars of screen, sport and showbiz on the PGA Tour this week for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a popular tournament among players and amateurs but perhaps not for the watching public with the coverage a difficult watch for the first three days.
Three picturesque California coast courses are in use this week and a seriously good cast list has been assembled looking to win the title. For those who can get through the coverage some great shots of the coast will be enjoyed and some decent golf too.
2017 – Jordan Spieth
2016 – Vaughn Taylor
2015 – Brandt Snedeker
2014 – Jimmy Walker
2013 – Brandt Snedeker
2012 – Phil Mickelson
2011 – D.A. Points
2010 – Dustin Johnson
2009 – Dustin Johnson
2008 – Steve Lowery
Each professional player is paired up with an amateur this week and the pairings play each of the courses once over the first three days. At the end of the three days the top 60 professionals and the leading 25 teams will progress to Sunday where a final round is played out across the iconic Pebble Beach track.
The three courses in use this week are Pebble Beach, Monterrey Peninsula and Spyglass Hill. Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill are both par 72s while the Monterrey Peninsula is a par 71. All three courses measure less than 7,000 yards and with amateurs in the field they are set up easier than usual so they are there for the taking.
The key to success in this tournament is pretty simple. Take advantage of the easier Monterrey Peninsula track, hit stacks of greens and hole lots of putts. This is a birdie fest where a low score will definitely be needed to win. We are on the coast so those proficient in coastal golf should be favoured.
You would have to say for a tournament of this kind where six hour rounds are the norm in what is a slow burner this is a top notch field. Star players such as Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are all in the field this week.
If that isn’t enough then the recent winner at Torrey Pines, Jason Day, tees it up as does last week’s winner and runner-up Gary Woodland and Chez Reavie. Throw in popular stars such as Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez and we are set for an extremely good week.
It is Dustin Johnson who is a 6/1 favourite this week. He had a good record here around the turn of the decade but hasn’t nailed the title here since 2010 despite a couple of near misses. His laid back attitude can be a concern in this sort of event and I’m not completely convinced he has got over messing up the US Open here in 2010. Whichever way I look at it he’s too short for me.
Jon Rahm is the next man in the betting. He can be backed at 11/1 along with Jason Day and Rory McIlroy. Rahm is a volcano that explodes too much for my liking in this event and the last thing we need is him missing a few putts and beating himself up. McIlroy should be nicely relaxed this week as he partners his old man while Day arrives in great form after his Torrey Pines win. I’m not convinced six hour rounds will do his back much good mind you.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth is the fifth favourite to defend the title. You would be pushing it to say that he is in pristine form coming into the tournament but in a putting contest there aren’t many others you would want ahead of him. He’s the value in the top five but in a tournament that does have a lottery element to it he’s too short to me. It is 28/1 bar.
This is a week for getting the pin out and seeing where it lands largely but I’ve been in brilliant form recently so I’ve earned myself a few stabs. As a result I’ll take a couple of main bets.
Brandt Snedeker is a pretty obvious bet around here but he ticks a lot of boxes. He needs to take this seriously as he looks to get back among the upper echelons on the tour and having won this event twice he knows his way around. His putting on these greens is exceptional and with little test from tee to green assuming his putter is warm enough it is hard to see him not being competitive here.
Chesson Hadley is enjoying a good season results wise and he is having a good one both from tee to green and with the putter. The problem has been putting the long game and the putting together but that will happen at some point and when it does he could take a lot of beating. He has a couple of top 10s around here from a few years ago and he’s playing better now than then. He was in the top five last week where he was eighth in putting and he was third in greens hit at Torrey Pines. In his last 11 events he has led the all-round ranking three times. If everything is put together this week he is a massive chance.
Here is where the darts come out and we fire at a few prices. I’ll keep it pretty simple. They all have records in windy events and all hole a lot of putts and hopefully one or two can take care of the easier courses and be there come Sunday.
James Hahn is in good nick right now. He has a couple of top 11s in the last four tournaments including in Phoenix last week and in those events he has ranked inside the top five for all-round ranking which bodes well. He has been third here in the past so he’s worth a go at 80/1 to see if he continues his form.
Paul Dunne is an excellent iron player with a brilliant short game and those two facets should combine to give him every chance this week. If the wind blows that won’t do Dunne any harm and on this friendly layout he should fancy his chances. His personality is such that the pro-am element will be fine. He’s worth a go at a three figure price.
Luke Donald is another I like in these events. He reminded us of his quality when he was seventh in a similar event to this in the Dunhill Links at the back end of 2017 and he posted a tweet on Wednesday saying Cypress Point is his favourite course in the world. That is one of the courses on this layout and although it isn’t in use this week it highlights he’s thinking positive thoughts. He remains brilliant with the short stick so if he can fire some approach shots close he shouldn’t be far away.
In terms of scrambling and putting Martin Piller is one of the best on the PGA Tour in recent times. His weakness has been from tee to green but there isn’t a professional in the world who can’t keep the ball in play on these courses with the way they are set up. If his short game continues to excel and the friendly set up allows his long game to play ball he could be the latest in a list of big priced contenders for us on Sunday.
Back B.Snedeker to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 36.00 with Unibet (1/5 1-6)
Back him here:
Back C.Hadley to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 51.00 with Coral (1/5 1-7)
Back P.Dunne to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with Coral (1/5 1-7)
Back M.Piller to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 301.00 with Coral (1/5 1-7)
Back J.Hahn to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Betfred (1/5 1-6)
Back him here:
Back L.Donald to win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 201.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-7)
Back him here: