AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Each-Way Tips

One of my first memories of live golf on Sky Sports was watching Johnny Miller roll back the years to score a shock triumph in the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

At the time it seemed extraordinary. I somehow believed Miller was around 60 years old so couldn’t fathom out how on earth he could be top of the leaderboard.

As it happens, Miller was only 46 and although he hadn’t won for seven years, his previous victory had also come at Pebble Beach.

He’d also won it – then called the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am – in 1974 so this was my first lesson in how certain players loved certain venues.

Ever since, I’ve always had Pebble Beach down as a ‘course form’ event and the leaderboards from 2020 and 2021 highlight the point.

Have a scan and the the same names keep popping up. So both last year and in 2020 you’ll find Daniel Berger (Winner-T5), Maverick McNealy (2-T5), Jordan Spieth (T3-T9), Patrick Cantlay (T3-T11), Jason Day (T7-4), Kevin Streelman (13-2), Matthew Nesmith (T16-T11), Chez Reavie (T16-T25) and Troy Merritt (T16-T25).

There are numerous other examples and, of course, Phil Mickelson and Mark O’Meara are both five-time winners of this event.

To be honest, I can see Berger winning this again but he’s a little short at 12/1 for this preview.

Instead, I’ll go 10 points higher and back Justin Rose.

The Englishman hasn’t played this event too often but his two starts show tied sixth on debut in 2016 and tied 39th the following year when slipping away.

But he does have another recent very positive experience having finished tied third in the 2019 US Open played at Pebble. Rose was first-round leader and solo second after 36 and 54 holes so he was a presence all week.

Rose had got to Monterey early that week and said he had the course pretty much to himself for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before tournament week.

Also in Rose’s favour is an overall record of excellence on the West Coast Swing which includes a win at the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, a tournament where he finished tied sixth last Saturday.

The former World No.1 would have made the play-off had he birdied rather than bogeyed the 72nd hole but it was still an excellent week.

This is a tournament where iron play is important and Rose ranked 5th for SG: Approach at Torrey Pines.

He now has four top 12s in his last seven starts on the PGA Tour so his game is definitely going in the right direction again.

Speaking after the Farmers, Rose said: “I kind of wanted to focus on coming out here, playing a good west coast, not going over to the Middle East, I wanted to focus on the FedExCup, get my season up and running.”

Asked if this was the most encouraged he’d felt about his game in a while, Rose responded: “Hundred percent. I feel like I can build on this now with a little bit of confidence going into the rest of the season.”

Take him at 22/1.

We managed to land Lucas Glover at 50/1 when he captured the John Deere Classic last July and I like him again for this.

Glover is 42 now but Miller, Mickelson and O’Meara have all won this event in their 40s and plenty of other champions have been not far short of their fifth decade.

Like those three, he’s a major winner and he still appears to have a lot of good golf ahead of him.

Glover didn’t do much on his early visits but in two of his last three appearances in this event he’s finished tied 11th and tied seventh.

That John Deere Classic victory got him into the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the start of January and that was basically a rust-removing exercise. He started with a 1-over 74 but then added 69-70-69.

He certainly reaped the rewards of a warm-up in the following week’s Sony Open. Glover shot 67-66-64-65 and finished in a tie for fifth place.

Like Pebble, Waialae is a coastal event with small greens so can correlate nicely.

Notably, Glover ranked 1st for Strokes Gained: Approach (picking up a mighty 9.548 shots to the field) at the Sony and that bodes well for this event. “Yeah, yeah, I been ironing it pretty good. I’m happy with the way the week has progressed and playing nice,” he said after his 6-under round on day three.

He followed it with tied 33rd at The American Express (MC there the previous two years) where he was tied 18th after holes.

There are more obvious names this week but Glover is just the type of grizzled pro who won’t get bothered by the ultra-slow pace of play found in pro-ams so 66/1 seems a decent price.

At the front end of the market, I’ve already picked Rose and expressed a liking for defending champion Daniel Berger, who sealed the deal with a brilliant eagle on Pebble Beach’s iconic 18th hole last year.

Patrick Cantlay looks short enough at 15/2 while Will Zalatoris at 16s, Jason Day at 18s and Jordan Spieth at 18s don’t quite grab me.

Two others that make obvious appeal – Maverick McNealy (second and fifth here the last two years) and Cameron Tringale (seventh last year and third last week) – look short enough at 25/1 and 22/1 respectively.

Pebble Beach throws up its share of three-figure price winners – remember Ted Potter Jr! – so I’ll delve much further down the betting for my final pick.

The one I’ve landed on is Scott Stallings.

The main box to tick is course form and he certainly has that after a run of 14-7-3 from 2017 to 2019. Stallings added another top 30 last year.

He also has some eye-catching form on west coast courses that correlate. Stallings won the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open in 2014 and finished runner-up when defending.

If that seems a little far back, the 36-year-old was tied sixth at Silverado in last September’s Fortinet Championship. That’s another short track with Poa Annua greens.

Stallings – a three-time PGA Tour winner – has made two starts this season, missing the cut in the American Express and taking tied 46th at Torrey.

That seems a little underwhelming but he shot 70-68 in his final two rounds at La Quinta and I couldn’t help but notice his excellent 6-under 66 which was only bettered by one man (Lanto Griffin, perhaps another contender here) in Saturday’s closer.

There’s enough there to have a punt on Stallings at 100/1.

So, a staking plan with an emphasis on experience: Rose (41), Glover (42) and Stallings (36). That seems a fair way to approach the week.

Author: wpadmin

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