AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am outrights and matchups preview

Patrick Cantalay staring
Mar 12, 2020; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA; Patrick Cantlay tees off on the 11th hole during the first round of the 2020 edition of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The West Coast swing continues with perhaps the most notable of all the California golf courses, Pebble Beach. Unfortunately, the strength of the field doesn’t necessarily stand up to the quality of course. That being said, there are still a few premier names and a number of young, talented golfers that will be traveling up the coast to Northern California this week. 

This tournament will be different than usual being that there will not be a pro-am section of the event. Typically, this is a week where the pros and celebrities tee it up together but due to Covid guidelines, this week will only feature the PGA Tour pros. This also means that instead of the usual three course rotation, the AT&T tournament will only be played on Spyglass and Pebble Beach.

The field

This field was supposed to be headlined by world #1 Dustin Johnson coming fresh off his win in Saudi Arabia, but he has since withdrawn thus worsening the overall strength of the field. 

With DJ now out, the top of the betting board will be Patrick Cantlay, Daniel Berger, and Paul Casey

A few of the players making the trip from Saudi to California are Phil Mickleson, Si Woo Kim, and Rafael Cabrera Bello

Some of the golfers in the field who have had signs of success at this course in the past are Kevin Streelman, Jordan Spieth, and Jason Day.

The course

As mentioned above, this year’s event will be a two course rotation with the first two rounds being split between Spyglass and Pebble Beach and the weekend rounds being both played at the classic Pebble Beach course. As with a few weeks ago in the Palm Springs desert, we will only be focusing on Pebble for the betting breakdown because of the three rounds being played there as opposed to the one at Spyglass. 

The historic Pebble Beach Golf Club is widely considered one of the most famous public golf courses in the world. This 6,800 yard par-72 features 18 holes that border the Pacifc Ocean and offer views that rival most paintings. It is known for being short but demanding and also for the classic West Coast Poa greens.

The course features four par-3s, including the popular short 7th hole. Three of these four holes play over 180 yards. The three par-5s offer some of the best chances at scoring, with the 6th hole being the easiest on the course. As with most coastal courses, the par-4s are where the tournament will be won or lost. 

Even without being a long course, the cliffs and water make placement off the tee more important than distance. The fairways are pretty easy to hit with an accuracy rate of over 70% but most of this is due to the fact that the golfers will take less than driver in order to ensure they will be in the fairway. If played correctly, most of the approach shots will fall somewhere between 100-150 yards, which turns this event into an accuracy and putting competition. The golfers that can stick their approach shots and get hot on the Poa greens come away with success after the four days conclude.

Notable stats

  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
  • Proximity 100-125
  • Par-4 Scoring (350-400 yards)
  • Poa Putting

Outrights value

Paul Casey +1400

Player NameSG: APPSG: OTTP4: 350-400Prox: 100-125Prox: 200+SG: T2G
Paul Casey171023384013
Casey stats

Coming off a top-10 finish at the AmEx a few weeks ago, Paul Casey posted finishes of 1st and 12th overseas in Europe. 2020 was most certainly a year for him to forget but he seems to have come out in great form to begin his 2021 season. We hadn’t seen Casey contending in big events in quite some time but there is no doubting the quality of his game when he is on. Casey is still the 17th ranked golfer in the world and has been playing like someone ready to get back into the top-10.

Over the past 36 rounds, he is top-20 in this field in approach and off-the-tee. His course history at Pebble is also a good stat to note. Two of the past three trips have seen finishes of 8th and 2nd. The win in Dubai solidified his solid form and there is no reason he can’t back that up with a win in California this week.

Jason Day +2000

Player NameSG: APPSG: OTTP4: 350-400Prox: 100-125Prox: 200+SG: T2G
Jason Day894338253236
Day stats

This is strictly a play based on course history and long term form. Jason Day has not been the most reliable golfer the past couple weeks. He missed the cut in Phoenix as well as in San Diego. Neither of those courses are really that similar to the one we find this week, and Jason Day clearly has an eye for Pebble Beach. In his last six starts at this tournament he hasn’t finished worse than 11th. Five of the six have resulted in top-5 finishes as well. 

The last two starts haven’t been great but prior to that he was trending in the right direction. Over his past five starts, he has gained strokes on approach, tee-to-green, and off-the-tee. Somehow last week he lost a staggering 5.2 strokes putting, which historically is his best skill set. Throughout his career, Poa is his preferred surface so hopefully he can get the ball rolling straight again this week and find himself in contention on Sunday. 

Sam Burns +4000

Player NameSG: APPSG: OTTP4: 350-400Prox: 100-125Prox: 200+SG: T2G
Sam Burns14189308
Burns stats

In theory, Sam Burns should set up perfectly for this golf course. He is 1st in the field off-the-tee, 9th in proximity from 100-125 yards, and 8th in short par-4 scoring. Top-20 in strokes gained: approach shouldn’t hurt his chances either. He has been on quite the run as of late as well. A 22nd place finish last week came off the heels of a top-20 at Torrey Pines the week before. Last week, he was able to finish 22nd even with posting horrid off-the-tee numbers, which is typically his strength. 

His approach stats are trending in the right direction and if he gets his off-the-tee numbers back to where they should be, Burns is in line for a big week at Pebble. In a field inept of too much star talent, this sets up nicely for a breakthrough week for Sam Burns. 

Tournament matchups

Francesco Molinari -106 over Si Woo Kim

Quietly, Molinari has been playing some really great golf lately. A lot of golf fans still just remember him for choking in the Masters against Tiger but he has had a great start to his 2021 season. His two starts this year have resulted in finishes of 8th and 10th. He finished 10th at Torrey Pines even with losing strokes putting. Si Woo Kim is a great golfer and has a win already this year but has been pretty inconsistent since. I’ll side with Molinari to keep the solid form rolling.

Max Homa +100 over Jordan Spieth

I’m not giving into the hype surrounding the Saturday round of Jordan Spieth. I’m still taking the wait and see approach when it comes to his game. It was definitely fun to see him electrifying the course during last week’s 3rd round but it was led by a few long putts holed and then it all came crashing back to earth on Sunday. I’m going to keep on betting Max Homa and his premier ball striking until he shows signs of fading. He continues to be right near the top of the field in approach and driving. Pebble  Beach looks to be a great fit for him and the 55/1 outright is certainly appealing.

Finishing positions

Kevin Streelman top-20 +163

The Pebble Beach course history guru will be looking for another top finish this week. He has finished inside the top-20 in all of his last five trips here. That includes a 2nd place last year. Some golfers have a good eye for certain courses and this is clearly one for Streelman. He posted a 22nd last week in the desert and did so losing 2.3 strokes putting. It is shaping up nicely for another solid week and the 2/1 top-20 odds look good to me.

Daniel Berger top-10 +150

I was between Berger and Casey for who to start the outrights card with this week. Ultimately I sided with the European but do still like Berger heading into the event. A missed cut last week was certainly disappointing for some (myself included) but I’ll be looking for a bounce back at Pebble. His last two trips here have seen finishes of 5th and 10th and he is a higher level golfer now than he was for those two tournaments. There was a stretch last season that he posted five straight top-10 finishes and he already has two in 2021. Plus money that he does it again is a safe bet.

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