AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – Pebble Beach, CA
Pebble Beach Golf Links (6,816 yards, par 72)
Spyglass Hill Golf Course (6,953 yards, par 72)
Monterey Peninsula Country Club (6,958 yards, par 71)
$1,332,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner
It’s one of the world’s most iconic courses, and the gang’s all here. Pebble Beach stands as one of the most beautiful and unique courses on Earth with its oceanside views and rich history. The celebrated venue attracts not just the top three in the world in Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, and Jordan Spieth, but a host of A-list celebrities that join the players in the entertaining Pro-Am. The courses rotate between Spyglass Hill, Monterey Peninsula, and Pebble Beach the first three rounds with the final round back at Pebble. With relatively benign weather conditions in the forecast, look for plenty of birdies and a winning score that could reach the upper teens.
Recent Past Champions
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
Key Stats to Winning at Pebble Beach
• Strokes Gained: Putting
• Par-5 Scoring
With limited stat-tracking on Spyglass and Monterey Peninsula, it’s difficult to pin down the profile. However, when you list the last five champions in Spieth, Taylor, Snedeker, Walker, and Mickelson, its not long before you realize the commonality: Putting. Why is putting so critical at Pebble Beach you might ask? Well, you have a combination of small greens, bumpy poa annua grasses and swirling winds coming off the peninsula. Wind and small greens make it tough to hit greens in regulation despite the courses’ short length, and when it comes time to putt, you need to be confident and aggressive to roll it pure on poa annua. Another interesting note here is that many guys with strong histories here are longer hitters. All four courses feature four par-5s - including the par-71 Monterey Peninsula – so going low on these holes turns out to be a huge factor in climbing the leaderboard, which comes naturally to longer hitters. All said, targeting great putters who hit it above average distance off the tee should net some fine returns for your FanDuel lineups this week.
FanDuel Value Picks
Dustin Johnson, $12800 – The last time DJ teed it up in the states he nearly aced a par-4 on Sunday and lapped the field by eight shots. He followed that with a top-10 in Abu Dhabi. And let’s not forget his back-to-back wins at Pebble in 2009 & 2010 along with four other top-5s. He’s expensive, but you can see why he’s an ironclad pick this week.
Jon Rahm, $12400 – Rahm faltered down the stretch for a second straight Sunday in what looked like a tired performance, but the young Spaniard should be renewed by the picturesque Pebble and the scoreable par-5s this week. He’s long and has putted well since late last year, so he’s a great value despite his price this week.
Jordan Spieth, $12200 – Last year’s champ at Pebble by four shots, Spieth will be hungry to repeat after an inexplicable missed cut last week at the Phoenix Open. Spieth has finished no worse than 22nd in five starts at this event.
Rory McIlroy, $12000 – Making his debut at the AT&T Pro-Am, McIlroy enters in good form with top-3 finishes his last two outings in the Middle East. The Northern Irishman is no stranger to Pebble as he played there in the 2010 U.S. Open, and should find plenty of birdie opportunities on the par-5s. He may not win given his below average putting, but his talent alone can easily net him a top-10.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Brandt Snedeker, $10900 – Two wins and another top-5 finish since 2013 make Snedeker a horse for the course at this event. He’s an elite putter who enters off a top-25 last week at the Phoenix Open.
Pat Perez, $10300 – Though Perez is normally a West Coast staple, it’s his first start on the PGA Tour since the Sentry TOC. Perez loves this place and it shows with six straight made cuts that included three top-15 finishes. Perez has been hot this season already with a win at the CIMB Classic so it would be no surprise to see him in the mix come Sunday.
Chesson Hadley, $9500 – A solid tie for fifth at last week’s Phoenix Open was already his fourth top-5 this season. He’s on pace for a career season and it won’t seem complete without adding a win or at least another runner-up effort, which is a realistic possibility.
Beau Hossler, $8800 – Hossler has turned some heads this season already with four top-20 finishes in the early going and just one missed cut. At $8,800, Hossler screams value despite missing the cut here in his only career start last season. He’s worth a risk given the guarantee of three rounds this week.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
It would probably be a foolish move to not employ at least one of the above chalk players this week, as all of them sit in a class above the rest of the field (you can probably add Jason Day to that list too). Beyond that, it’s hunting and gathering for a few longer shots who have putted well recently and are somewhat long hitters. It’s a great week to take some gambles on lower risk guys since everyone is guarantee three rounds before the cut, so don’t hold back once you’ve selected your top gun.