The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is one of the most iconic events in golf. In existence since 1937 the 73rd renewal will be staged over four days, starting on Thursday (February 9).
We take an in-depth look at this year’s event, providing you with a few tips along the way.
As always, be sure to share your views and opinions with us over on the @MyClubBetting Twitter page.
Played over three courses and four days, with the top 60 going forward to Sunday’s final round, the format for the event formally known as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Amateur makes this an interesting minefield for punters.
The seaside links has hosted the US Open five times and the PGA Championship once and only five non-Americans have won it, so you can guess we will play the percentages.
It is something of an anomaly that a long driver such as Phil Mickelson has won this event five times, given that it plays as one of the shortest courses in the PGA Tour rota. The fairways are wide and it doesn’t pose much of a driving test. The gusty conditions and postage-stamp sized greens provide the course’s defence.
A magical short game is Mickleson’s hallmark, a big reason why he is invariably at home here. His trademark shot is a full swing of a sand wedge which shoots up in the air and then parachutes down onto the green, coming to a standstill virtually straight away.
‘Lefty’ does everything right-handed except play golf and as his Open Championship success in 2016 shows, he still has his A-game. His performance at Troon proved he is one of the best exponents of links golf around and while has not won here since 2012, he was bang in contention last year only to whiff on the final round with a modest 72 and fail by a stroke to shock winner Vaughn Taylor.
Putting is going to be crucial. The three courses this week are Pebble Beach Golf Links (played twice), Spyglass Hill (hardest of the three), and Monterey Peninsula (easiest of the three). The link among the three is the Poa Annua greens, which is in Mickelson’s favour as he grew up playing on them. He has to be on the shortlist.
Dustin Johnson won this in 2009 in the wet and wild conditions reduced the event to three round and he came back to win it next year over four.
He is well-versed with Poa Annua greens and tops the averages on them since 2013.
The key to a good weekend will be Spyglass. It is the toughest of the three and Johnson relishes playing it. He is the top-rated player on Californian course over the last four years and there are plenty of reasons for backing the 8/1 favourite.
Jimmy Walker is another former winner, who took this three years ago, beating Dustin Johnson. He has the imagination to craft something out of nothing and with this course rewarding proper shot-making, with the wind usually fighting, he invariably has the controlled game to do well in links events. Walker says that Pebble Beach “fits my eye” and he has always read these greens well, so he is cemented on our list this week and is probably over-priced at 28/1.
J.B. Holmes had a T2 here in 2010 and shot a first round 66 last year on his way to a T11 finish. He shot a 64 in the first round in 2015 (finishing T10), so he is another horse for the course. He comes here in fair form, too, with a solid T24 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and he finished well with a final round 68 after a modest start in the Farmers Insurance Open. He is another who has the hot iron and the nose for the Poa Annua surface.
DUSTIN JOHNSON @ 8/1
PHIL MICKELSON @ 18/1
JIMMY WALKER @ 28/1
J.B. HOLMES @ 33/1
Stay tuned to our WordPress site for Previews and Betting Guides on a variety of Sports….
Get your club, however large or small, its own tailor-made betting service – FREE – and start benefiting now! See myclubbetting.com for details.
You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk