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BlogAT&T Pebble Beach Preview and Picks

AT&T Pebble Beach

February 11th – 14th, 2021

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach, CA

Par: 72 / Yardage: 6,816

Purse: $7.5 million

with $1,404,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Nick Taylor

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 23 of the top 100 and 5 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings: #11 Patrick Cantlay, #15 Daniel Berger, #17 Paul Casey, #48 Jason Day, #49 Will Zalatoris, #51 Siwoo Kim, #59 Kevin Streelman, #62 Adam Long, #63 Rickie Fowler, #67 Chez Reavie, #69 Jordan Spieth, #70 Joel Dahmen, #77 Tom Lewis, #84 Brendan Steele, #86 Phil Mickelson, #88 Rafa Cabrera Bello, #89 Brian Harman, #91 Michael Thompson, #95 Cameron Tringale, #96 Max Homa, #97 Henrik Norlander, #99 Matt Jones and #100 Jim Herman.

Last year there were 12 top-50 players in the field.

The field includes only 4 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2021.  Those players are #3 Patrick Cantlay, #10 Stewart Cink, #Si Woo Kim and #22 Peter Malnati.

The field includes 9 past champions:  Nick Taylor (2020), Phil Mickelson (2019, ’12, ’07, ’05 & 1998), Ted Potter, Jr. (2018), Jordan Spieth (2017), Vaughn Taylor (2016), Brandt Snedeker (2015 & ’13), Jimmy Walker (2014), D.A. Points (2011) and Matt Gogel (2002).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the AT&T Pebble Beach

Player WM Phoenix Open Saudi Inter. Farmers Insurance Dubai Desert American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry T of C. Mayakoba DP World, Dubai RSM Classic Masters
Paul Casey
(228 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP Win
(132)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
Henrik Norlander
(156 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Si Woo Kim
(150.33 pts)
T50
(1)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
Patrick Cantlay
(146.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
Cameron Davis
(117.33 pts)
DNP DNP T32
(18)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP 31
(12.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(108.67 pts)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP T35
(15)
DNP 4
(80)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T54
(0)
T51
(0)
Chris Kirk
(102.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP
Michael Thompson
(96 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP T25
(16.67)
T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brendan Steele
(95.67 pts)
T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Cameron Tringale
(95 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
DNP
Bo Hoag
(89 pts)
T36
(14)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Doug Ghim
(88.33 pts)
DNP DNP T37
(13)
DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP
Will Zalatoris
(88 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Francesco Molinari
(83.33 pts)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Matt Jones
(79 pts)
T30
(20)
DNP T48
(2)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP T44
(2)
DNP
Kyle Stanley
(78.67 pts)
T36
(14)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP
Rory Sabbatini
(77.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T40
(3.33)
DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP
Max Homa
(75 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Jordan Spieth
(72.67 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T46
(2.67)
Andrew Putnam
(71.67 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T37
(4.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Brian Harman
(67.33 pts)
T36
(14)
DNP DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Daniel Berger
(62.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
10
(26.67)
T23
(9)
DNP DNP DNP
Patton Kizzire
(57 pts)
T50
(1)
DNP DNP DNP 53
(0)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP T32
(6)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP
Matthew NeSmith
(52 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP T48
(2)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP
Peter Malnati
(51.33 pts)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T14
(24)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T48
(0.67)
DNP
James Hahn
(50.67 pts)
10
(40)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP T41
(6)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Sam Burns
(50 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Padraig Harrington
(50 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nick Taylor
(43.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(3)
DNP T11
(26)
T29
(14)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(14)
Kramer Hickok
(39.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Streelman
(37 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP T37
(13)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(6)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP
Alex Noren
(30.33 pts)
DNP DNP T37
(13)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP
Brandon Hagy
(30.33 pts)
DNP DNP T42
(8)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T40
(3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Stewart Cink
(30 pts)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
T31
(12.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Sam Ryder
(29.67 pts)
57
(0)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T47
(3)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Rickie Fowler
(29.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T29
(14)
Ryan Armour
(29.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T32
(12)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Branden Grace
(28.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T40
(3.33)
T8
(25)
T30
(6.67)
DNP
Chase Seiffert
(28 pts)
DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Adam Long
(26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP 69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Harold Varner III
(23.67 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 71
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Russell Knox
(23 pts)
T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Bronson Burgoon
(22.67 pts)
DNP DNP T42
(8)
DNP T37
(13)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP
Andrew Landry
(21.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T38
(8)
DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
Mark Hubbard
(18.67 pts)
T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T32
(12)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the AT&T Pebble Beach

Player WM Phoenix Open Saudi Inter. Farmers Insurance Dubai Desert American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry T of C. Mayakoba DP World, Dubai RSM Classic Masters
Hunter Mahan
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Harrington
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Beau Hossler
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Mark Anderson
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Matt Every
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Michael Gligic
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Nick Watney
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Brown
(-31.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T47
(2)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ryan Moore
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Min Woo Lee
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The PGA Tour season is just about a quarter of the way over,  17 events played, 33 left to play, we are seeing a different list of winners.  First, there are only 2 first-time winners (Jason Kokrak and Carlos Ortiz), there are no multiple winners and three of the 17 winners are in the top-ten of the World Rankings.  All of this is showing how good the fields are on the PGA Tour, that just about anyone that tees it up can win, and that players are in flex at all times.

What we learned from last week:

No matter what a person has done in the past, no matter how bad he is playing last week or for the last couple of weeks it doesn’t mean he can’t overcome it.  Thanks to people like myself, Brooks Koepka wasn’t a very big pick on fantasy golf pools, I know in my personal pool nobody took him.  In DraftKings big $750,000 game Koepka was the 24th most popular pick with 8.46% of the 58,707 players who paid $8,800 for him.  I had placed him in a careful place saying he had missed his last three cuts and was working on different things.  Koepka after winning said he’s been in a dark place the last couple of months due to injuries and yes I was shocked that he won.  We all know that Koepka is a great player and even with him working through the problems was able to finish T-2nd at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and a T-7th at the Masters.  So its very hard to predict when a person will break out of a funk and create success.  Another person in a terrible funk right now is Rory McIlroy.  He hasn’t won in 15 months and we have seen him struggle in each tournament he has played over the last year having that one bad round.  I shook my head when I saw McIlroy shot 68 in the first round of the Farmers, playing the tough South Course.  Thought that he would just beat-up on the easier North Course which was played 3 and a half shots easier.  But McIlroy shot 71 which just goes to show how inconsistent his game has been.  Who knows what has caused that, Rory doesn’t know and is working hard on the problem.  But the same happened in Phoenix last week, Rory shot an opening round of 70 and struggled the next couple of days but ended on Sunday with a 64.  Now if Rory would have shot a final round 64 at the Farmers or Abu Dhabi he would have won both of those events.  So all of this is very complex.  But as we are seeing each week, it’s really hard to forecast what will happen from week to week on the PGA Tour.

Other players showing signs that they are ready to bust out of their slumps.

Could we be seeing the return of Jordan Spieth?  Yes, he floundered on Sunday with a final round 72, but still finished T-4th his best finish since finishing T-3rd at the 2019 PGA Championship.  Every part of Spieth’s game since his 2017 British Open victory has been suspect, he was showing strains on his putting which is the heart and soul of his game.  But Spieth has now made a statement that he could possibly back and right off the bat you wonder if that means he could win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am.  He won this event in 2017 and last year in the midst of his slump he finished T-9th, one of only two top-tens for Spieth in 2020.  We also know that Spieth plays well at the Genesis Open so it’s something to think about.

Another player that is breaking out of his funk is Francesco Molinari who is playing this week at Pebble.  Since hitting it into Rae’s Creek in the 2019 Masters, Molinari’s game has been terrible.  In his next 22 starts, he didn’t have a top-ten until the American Express a couple of weeks ago.  His game was so bad that he only played in seven worldwide events in 2020 and his best finish was T-22nd.  Molinari took off and didn’t play for close to ten months in between the WGC-Mexico Championship and the Masters.  He also made a big move, relocating his family from London to Los Angeles, a drastic lifestyle change for Molinari.  But we are seeing a lot of improvement from Molinari, he was T-6th at the American Express and T-10th at the Farmers.  Signs that his game has improved is in his stats for the year.  In Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee he is T-48th, in SG Approach-the-Green he is 17th, in SG Around-the-Green, and SG Tee-to-Green he is 6th.  He is still struggling with his putter but he has never been that great of a putter, the meat and potato of his game is his ball-striking skills.  So have to watch him not only this week but in the weeks to come.

Another player to watch is Justin Rose.  His game has been in flux since winning the 2019 Farmers.  He had just switch equipment companies and that gets a lot of blame for the problems in the last half of 2019 and 2020.  He has still been inconsistent, played well at the PGA Championship in August but has not shown much.  He played in the three desert swing events on the European Tour and seems to get better each week.  He was T-57th at Abu Dhabi.  The next week played well for three rounds at Dubai, starting out with rounds of 71-69-68 but stumbled to a final round 77 to finish T-35th.  But last week he played great for four rounds, 68-66-67-65 to finish T-2nd.  He hasn’t made up his mind yet if he is going to play in next week’s Genesis Open, but when he next plays he is one to watch.

But what about Rickie Fowler?

He is still struggling with his game since the summer has been working with coach John Tillery.  They have been trying to get Fowler to use his body more to help the club get in the proper position.  Things still haven’t shown any results as he missed the cut at Phoenix.  Since returning from the break for COVID-19 Fowler has played in 17 events and made the cut in 10 of them.  In those events he has only finished in the top-20 twice, the best finish was T-12th at the Rocket Mortgage.  Fowler’s big problem right now is his world ranking which has fallen drastically.  During the break for COVID-19 Fowler sat in 27th place in the rankings, and unfortunately for him, he dropped out of the top-50 at the end of the year and has no invite into the Masters.  He is now 63rd in the rankings which means he won’t play in the WGC at The Concession and is borderline on making the Match Play championship.  He has a nice streak going in the majors, playing in the last 41 going back to the 2010 British Open so it would be disappointing if he misses the Masters.  Do I see the poor play improving anytime soon, no.

So a big change for this week

Have to say this week’s golf will be disappointing.  We all understand the problem with COVID and yes the tournament couldn’t allow the pro-am and people watching.  But we are seeing an institution of the PGA Tour that will be radically changed for this week.  So how does this alter your preparation of making your teams for fantasy golf?  Probably doesn’t change much, lack of gallery is the norm for the players, the lack of amateur players will mean very little to the outcome.  But at the end of the day, we can see that there is going to be a very weak field, so it’s now a guessing game to see which journeyman of the PGA Tour jump up out of nowhere.  Just look at the names of people that have won this event, guys like Ted Potter, Jr. in 2018, Vaughn Taylor in 2016, D.A. Points in 2011, and Steve Lowery in 2008. This event has the reputation for this happening and I can see that happening again.

How about the weather for the week?

For years the weather for the AT&T has had its share of terrible conditions.  Last year was one of those perfect years of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s.

This year won’t see that, each day won’t get above 56 degrees and the rain that hits this area in the winter will be around every day.  On Thursday there is an 80% chance of rain, on Friday it’s down to 25% and Saturday goes back up to 60%.  Sunday could be the best day of the tournament with partial clouds.  Hopefully, they can get things finished on time because they are saying the chances of rain on Monday is 60 degrees.  Lot’s of speculation on the withdrawal of Dustin Johnson, supposedly the poor weather had a lot to do in the decision, despite his manager avid Winkle saying Johnson withdrew due to Jet Lag.

Things you need to know about the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Normally this event is played on three different courses with amateur partners.  But with the pro-am being eliminated they have eliminated Monterey Peninsula and will play three rounds at Pebble Beach and one round at Spyglass Hill.  The cut will be after 54 holes with the top-65 going to the weekend.

Course information:
  • Pebble Beach Golf Links
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 6,816 yards     Par 36-36–72

The course has a 74.4 rating and slope rating of 142 from the championship tees Pebble Beach Golf Links is a resort and open to the public.

Last year Pebble played to a 72.52 scoring average and it was the 8th hardest course on tour.  The reason for it playing so hard was the high winds that were around all four days.

The course was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant in 1919,  Revised in 1928 by Henry Chandler Egan.  Between then and 1997 there were few minor changes done to the course.  But in 1998 the biggest change happened when the par-three 5th hole was rebuilt.  The redesign was done by Jack Nicklaus, and the hole was relocated about 100 yards away, along with a 50-foot cliff over the Pacific.  At the cost of $3 million, the new hole could be one of the most expensive holes that hold a PGA Tour event.  It’s funny to compare the cost.  $3 million for one hole in 1999, the total cost to build the course in 1919 and that included the money spent on at the time was the first automatic sprinkling system in golf was a mere $66,000.

The course is situated on the Monterey Peninsula, its 120 miles south of San Francisco, Pebble Beach is considered the most spectacular golf course in all the world.

Despite the official name, the course is not a real links course because it is set on craggy cliffs above Carmel Bay.  Eight of the holes skirt the coastline, and it’s these holes that distinguish Pebble Beach.

The land was owned by Samuel Morse who was the nephew of the inventor of the telegraph and Morse code.  Morse had an eye for the natural beauty of the Monterey Peninsula and bought 7,000 acres of the Peninsula, including seven miles of Pacific oceanfront for $1.3 million in 1915.  Morse then formed the Del Monte Properties company and had a vision of a resort with a golf course on prime acreage that ran along the bluffs above Carmel Bay.  Instead of selling the oceanfront property for homesites, Morse built his golf course.  One of his real estate agents was Jack Neville who won the California Amateur Championship, and although Neville had never produced a course before, Morse decided to give him a chance to handle the design.  Neville asked another California Amateur Champion, Douglas Grant, to help him on the project and they spent a month routing the 18 holes.

In 1918 the course was opened for play, but in the inaugural competition, the course was deemed to be unplayable for the average golfer and was closed for revision.  Neville and Grant softened it up, and in 1919 it was again open for play.

Over the course of the next ten years, the course was modified by Neville and Grant, and in 1928 H. Chandler Egan, Robert Hunter, and Roger Lapham strengthened the course for the 1929 U.S. Amateur.  Since then the course has remained the same, except for the redesign of the fifth hole, which is undoubtedly an endorsement of the sound design of Neville and Grant.

Nine holes at Pebble are set along the rocky shores of Carmel Bay.  They are the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 17th, and 18th.  The 18th hole is considered by many as the best finishing hole in golf.  It was originally a par 4 of 379 yards until Egan changed it into a par 5 of 550 yards.

Pebble Beach has held many tournaments the U.S. Open (1972, ’82, ’92, 2000, 2010, and in 2019), the PGA Championship (1977),  five U.S. Amateurs (1929, ’47, ’61, ’99 & 2018), the 1989 Nabisco Championship and is the host course for the annual AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am which at one time was the Bing Crosby.

The average green size at Pebble is 3,580 square feet that make the greens the smallest that are used on the PGA Tour.  The course has 92 bunkers, and water comes into play on nine holes along the Pacific.

In prepping Pebble for the 2019 U.S. Open in 2015 the 17th green was modified and rebuilt, over the summer in 2016 the 14th green went through a severe change.  The green doesn’t have the drastic elevation change in the front, back right.  The bunker is still deep and tough, making the green a bit flatter and having more pin places.  In 2017 the 13th hole saw the green rebuilt to create a hole location on the right side of the green and a bunker was put in to the left of the green.

Other course used in the rota:
  • Spyglass Hill Golf Course
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 7,035 yards     Par 36-36–72

The course has a 75.3 rating and a slope rating of 148 from the championship tees.  The course resorts and open to the public.

Last year Spyglass played to a 72.67 average and was T-19th hardest course on tour.

The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1966.  The course was the built thanks to Samuel Morse who had initially thought of creating it as part of the Lodge at Pebble Beach.  The course was to be called Pebble Beach Pines Golf Club, but Morse changed it to Spyglass Hill.  That was partly because of his friend Robert Louis Stevenson who got his inspiration for his book Treasure Island while visiting the area in which Spyglass was built.

Spyglass is a mix of several different courses.  The first five holes go down through dunes and offer magnificent views of the Pacific.  The next couple of holes playback into the pines, still offering ocean views.  The last nine you wouldn’t even know that the ocean is a mile away, the holes play through Monterey pines.  Spyglass is a different course than Pebble.  While the greens at Pebble are small, those at Spyglass are large and undulating.  Weather is a big part of Pebble, while it can be blowing up a storm there, Spyglass that is just a couple miles away could be calm.  When Spyglass first opened up it annually would drive the pros that played in the Crosby crazy and would be among the hardest courses on Tour.  It’s still one of the toughest courses on tour, but the course has softened with time, and now there is nothing but praise about the course.

The big advantage of playing Spyglass Hill is after the first six holes, the last 12 holes are protected from wind which helps on windy days.

DraftKings Picks

*Here are the guys that are very costly:

  • Patrick Cantlay – $11,300
  • Paul Casey – $11,300
  • Daniel Berger – $10,100
  • Will Zalatoris – $9,900
  • Jordan Spieth – $9,700
  • Jason Day – $9,500
  • Si Woo Kim – $9,400
  • Francesco Molinari – $9,300
  • Rickie Fowler – $9,200
  • Sam Burns – $9,100
  • Cameron Davis – $9,000

Have to say that this week will be very difficult to maneuver. Last week was a breeze, most of the players at the top were well worth the value that DraftKings gave them and the big problem was who to take at the top.  This week it’s the complete opposite, of those at the top of our list I can see a problem with most of these players.  At the top is Patrick Cantlay at $11,300, the good news pretty sure he will make the cut but his price is very high for a player whose the best finish is T-9th eight years ago.  Will he contend, maybe but he is just too much money. Paul Casey at $11,300 I can see.  He was 2nd at Pebble in 2019 and T-8th in 2018.  He is playing well coming over from Saudi Arabia, he was T-12th last week and won two weeks ago in Dubai.  So yes he is ok with the cost.  Daniel Berger at $10,100 is also ok, he was T-5th at Pebble last year and his other start was T-10th in 2015.  Yes, he missed the cut in Phoenix, but that is because the scoring was low.  The rest of the year he has done well. Will Zalatoris at $9,900 is borderline, mostly because he is a lot of money.  Yes, he will make the cut and yes think he can contend, but winning is tough.  He is a toss-up, I can see taking him.  Jordan Spieth at $9,700 is probably ok, his game has gotten better and he comes to a course that he has won on and played well last year finishing T-9th.  Jason Day at $9,500 is a really hard choice.  He comes into this week missing cuts at Torrey and Phoenix, that doesn’t matter because he wasn’t playing well last year and still finished 4th.  Jason really plays great in this event, he has been in the top-five in his last four starts and been in the top-11th in seven of his last eight starts.  That tells us something, he likes the course and always plays well.  I am going to say no and only for one reason, the weather.  Think the combination of wet and cold conditions could play havoc on his back which is always dodgy.  So I say no.  Si Woo Kim at $9,400 is a hard choice, yes he finished T-4th in 2019 so he can play the course.  But he missed the cut last year and in 2017.  Making your choice should be his play this year, he did win three weeks ago in Palm Springs, but missed the cut at Torrey and was T-50th last week in Phoenix.  I say yes he can do well.  Now Francesco Molinari at $9,300 I like a lot.  His game is coming around.  He has not played in this event, but did play in the U.S. Open in 2019 and was T-16th.  Think he has done a lot of work and is gaining confidence in his game so he could be a great choice.  On the other end of the spectrum, Rickie Fowler at $9,200 is an easy no.  Sam Burns at $9,100 is someone to watch, he has played well in 2021 and this is the type of tournament he can do well in.   Cameron Davis at $9,000 I just don’t see happening.

Here is our new feature in which we help you decide which guys make the cut the most in a tournament.  The importance of picking six players that play 72 holes is vital in playing well in Draftkings, and this list will help.  It’s a look going back to the 2010 WM Phoenix Open on who has made the most cuts.  Of course, those who make a lot of cuts and are priced low are very helpful.  To get on this list, you have to make at least three AT&T Pebble Beach starts.  One last thing, in all these years, each participant had to play three different golf courses, with amateurs, so the task was a lot harder:

  • Jason Day made 9 cuts in 9 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 9,500.
  • Joel Dahmen made 3 cuts in 3 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,400.
  • Jordan Spieth made 8 cuts in 8 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 9,700.
  • Patrick Cantlay made 4 cuts in 4 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 11,300.
  • Paul Casey made 3 cuts in 3 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 10,400.
  • Phil Mickelson made 10 cuts in 10 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,600.
  • Rob Oppenheim made 4 cuts in 4 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,500.
  • Seung-Yul Noh made 4 cuts in 4 starts for a 100.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,300.
  • Sean O’Hair made 10 cuts in 11 starts for a 90.9%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,400.
  • Kevin Streelman made 9 cuts in 10 starts for a 90.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,900.
  • Brian Gay made 8 cuts in 9 starts for a 88.9%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,600.
  • Matt Jones made 9 cuts in 11 starts for a 81.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,100.
  • Aaron Baddeley made 8 cuts in 10 starts for a 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,500.
  • Kevin Stadler made 4 cuts in 5 starts for a 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,000.
  • Luke Donald made 4 cuts in 5 starts for a 80.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,300.
  • Jim Furyk made 7 cuts in 9 starts for a 77.8%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,400.
  • Henrik Norlander made 3 cuts in 4 starts for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 8,700.
  • Stewart Cink made 3 cuts in 4 starts for a 75.0%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,200.
  • J.B. Holmes made 8 cuts in 11 starts for a 72.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,600.
  • Jimmy Walker made 8 cuts in 11 starts for a 72.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 6,400.
  • Pat Perez made 8 cuts in 11 starts for a 72.7%.  His DraftKings cost is 7,100.

(Those that I like are in bold)

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Off the bat is Kevin Streelman at $8,900, great record at Pebble plus playing well. I also like Max Homa at $8,800.  He has played well in this event, was T-14th last year with a 74 in the final round.  He was T-10th in 2019.  He has been very consistent in 2021 and has made the cut in his last six starts.  Henrik Norlander at $8,700 is another good choice, he has been ok at Pebble and was T-22nd at Phoenix and T-2nd at the Farmers.  Phil Mickelson at $8,600 is a tough choice, Phil plays great at Pebble, he was 3rd last year.  In his last two starts, he finished T-53rd at both Farmers and Saudi International, so he is worth the price.  Alex Noren at $8,300 is worth the money, he was T-32nd last year at Pebble and has been consistent this year.  Matthew NeSmith at $8,000 is an interesting case, he was T-11th last year and T-7th last week after opening up with a 63 in the first round.  Peter Malnati at $7,800 played well last year and has had a good 2021.  Brandt Snedeker at $7,800 is hard because despite his great past he is now very inconsistent and not worth the gamble anymore.  Rafael Cabrera-Bello at $7,700 is fresh from playing all three desert events on the European Tour.  He played well in all and I think worth the gamble this year at Pebble.  Maverick McNealy at $7,600 is also a good pick, he was T-5th last year.

What are the “Bargains” out there?

So who are our bargains for the week?  I will say this, there aren’t that many which means you better be careful in spending for the star players.  Jim Furyk at $7,400 is someone to think about, his record is strong at Pebble and I think he can make the cut.  Again Stewart Cink is $7,200 and he does make a lot of cuts so I always seem to pick him. Michael Thompson at $7,200 is another that makes cuts and can help at a low price.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am:

The key stat for the winner:

In the past the AT&T Pebble Beach brought on some special problems; the first was the pro-am but that isn’t happening this year.  The second is playing just two courses and both of them are the best in this country

The bad news is the weather is supposed to be terrible all week, worst days will be Thursday and Saturday.  So be sure that your player is on Spyglass Hill when the weather gets windy and sloppy.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:
  • Unimportant stat: Except for Brett Ogle in 1993, Dustin Johnson in 2009, and Nick Taylor last year so those that have won at Pebble were veteran players.  The point here, don’t look for any inexperienced players winning here, in its history going back to 1950 only one pro has won on his first visit to Pebble, and that was Ogle.  In 2019 48-year-old Phil Mickelson won for the fifth time.  But on the other end of the spectrum, Nick Taylor won for the first time last year but he is 31 and been around since 2008.  This is the type of player that will win this week.
  • Now, this doesn’t rule out the fact that a rookie or a person with minimal experience could win. Look at D.A. Points in 2011; he missed three out of four cuts before winning.  Some could call this a flunk; I feel that having comedian Bill Murray as his partner helped him and without Murray, Points probably would have never won.  In 2016 Vaughn Taylor saved his career with a victory which did surprise many.  In 2018 Ted Potter, Jr. won in his ninth start.  It wasn’t that great of a year, he missed the cut in five events and his best finish was T-13th before winning at Pebble.Also, look at Dustin Johnson who won at age 24 & 25. In 2009 Johnson was a surprise winner because he won due to the weather reducing the event to 54 holes, it’s always easy to win a tournament that you lead after 54 holes.
  • The best-kept secret of this event between 1981 and 2005 none of the first-round leaders went on to win.  But, Phil Mickelson started a trend in 2005 that 8 of the last 16 winners, Mickelson twice, Johnson twice, and Points in 2011 were in the lead after the first day.  In 2015 Brandt Snedeker led after the first and second rounds, then was T-2nd in the third round.  In 2016 it was back to normal as Taylor was way back after the first and second rounds and six back of the 54 hole leader, But in 2017 Jordan Spieth had the lead after every round, the first player to have the outright lead after every round since Mickelson did it in 2015.  Last year Nick Taylor shot a first-round 63 to take the lead and never looked back leading after every round.
  • One streak that is on the line and looking to stay intact is that in the previous 61 years of the American Express, nobody has ever won both the AT&T and the American Express in the same year.  Si Woo Kim will be looking to break the streak this year and you can bet the farm that won’t happen.
  • Putting is always a key at the AT&T especially since the tricky poa annua greens tend to get very bumpy in the afternoon.  Those that can deal with it will be ahead of the game mentally.
  • Look for someone that either hits lots of greens or putts very well to win.  He also has to play very well over the weekend which seems to be the key to the rest of the winners.  Pro’s play Pebble twice, which has the smallest greens on the PGA Tour.  Because of that and the greens at Pebble don’t have many undulations, putting becomes vital in winning.  In making putts between 4 and 8 feet it has ranked one of the hardest courses on tour 6 of the last 12 years, Last year it ranked 3rd while it was 1st in 2019, 10th in 2018, 2nd in 2017, and 3rd in 2016.  In putts inside 10 feet, Pebble was 1st last year and in 2019, 6th in 2018, 4th in both 2017 and in 2016, 15th in 2015, but first in 2014.   In putts outside of 25 feet it was T-20th last year and in 2019, 36th in 2018,  31st in 2017, and 9th in 2016.
  • Lastly and very important, To win you have to make sure that you play well at Spyglass Hill.  In a way, that is the hardest of the courses, and a good round there gives you a big advantage.  A perfect example was in 2005 with Phil Mickelson, he opened up with a 62 at Spyglass, shattering its scoring record and could build upon that great round.
  • Now Spyglass is not the only secret, but also playing well on Monterey Peninsula is essential (don’t have to worry about that this year since the course won’t be played).  All three of these courses usually play to a total field average of par, since 2005 Spyglass has been over par 11 of the last 16 years.
  • What we did in the chart below was take the field average for that course and subtracted the winner’s score to figure out how many shots are picked up on the field and come up with a total shot gained on the field for these two rounds.  The findings are remarkable across the board for the 16 winners.

 

Who to watch for at the AT&T Pebble Beach

Best Bets:

Will Zalatoris

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T68

Feel he will be a star one day and this could be the week. He has been playing great all year.

Francesco Molinari

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

His game is coming around. He has not played in this event, but did play in the U.S. Open in 2019 and was T-16th. Think he has done a lot of work and is gaining confidence in his game so he could be a great choice.

Jordan Spieth

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T9 T45 T20 Win T21 T7 T4 T22

Game coming around at the right time, he is a past winner at Pebble and plays well in this event.

Best of the rest:

Patrick Cantlay

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T11 T35 T48 T9

He is the favorite but I am worried if the poor weather could be a problem for him. Other than that he is the best in the field this week.

Paul Casey

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T64 2 T8

Had a great run in Dubai and Saudi International was 2nd at Pebble in 2019 and T-8th in 2018

Daniel Berger

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T5 T10

he was T-5th at Pebble last year and in his other start was T-10th in 2015. Yes, he missed the cut in Phoenix, but that is because scoring was low.

Kevin Streelman

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
2 T7 6 T14 T17 CUT T40 T9 T63 T35 CUT

Was runner-up last year.

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
First time playing in this event

Solid contenders

Max Homa

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T14 T10 CUT T29 CUT

T-10th last year at Pebble, has played well of late, he will be the surprise of the week.

Jason Day

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
4 T4 T2 T5 T11 T4 T64 6 T46 T14

Know he is playing bad but he always seems to bring his A-game to Pebble.

Cameron Davis

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T38 T59 CUT

Was 3rd three weeks ago in American Express, has played consistently

Matt Jones

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T5 T53 CUT T23 T11 T7 T45 T30 CUT T15 T10 T55

T-5th last year at Pebble, has not missed the cut in his last 8 starts, T-30th last week in Phoenix.

Phil Mickelson

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
3 Win T2 65 2 T19 T60 Win T9 T8 T55

You never know what Phil will do next, his record is so good at Pebble you never will bet against him.

Long shots that could come through:

Peter Malnati

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T11 CUT T35 CUT T66 CUT

Played well last year and has had a good 2021

Matthew NeSmith

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T11

T-11th last year and T-7th last week after opening up with a 63 in the first round.

Maverick McNealy

2021 ’20 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09
T5 CUT

Has played a lot at Pebble, he was T-5th last year.

Comments

  1. Hey Sal,
    No Spyglass this year, only Pebble and Cypress.

  2. Michael, I have said in this preview that they are playing Pebble and Spyglass Hill.
    They haven’t played at Cypress since 1990.

  3. Please excuse my ignorance

  4. no problem

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