AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Tips
The PGA Tour remains in California as the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am takes place this week and the field is relatively strong, it should be an excellent event from a betting perspective. As you can see below, the previous winners of this event are all excellent players. It would be a surprise to see a serious longshot win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am however it’s possible. Jason Day heads the betting and can be backed at 8/1 after he won the Farmers Insurance Open last week, and not far behind the Aussie is last year’s winner Jimmy Walker.
2014 – Jimmy Walker -11
2013 – Brandt Snedeker -19
2012 – Phil Mickelson -17
2011 – DA Points -15
2010 – Dustin Johnson -16
The Courses – Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula and Spyglass Hill
The AT&T Pebble Beach National is played over three different courses. Each course is played once before those that make the cut play the host course Pebble Beach again. Pebble Beach golf course needs no introduction, its hosted five US Open’s and the PGA Championship on one occasion. Over the past few years course form has proved to be crucial. From 1999 to 2014, fifteen of the sixteen winners of this event had recorded a top 25 finish in the AT&T Pebble Beach National before there victory. This highlights how important experience is around the three courses in use.
There are some strong trends of players that have performed well in this event over the last three years. Firstly in 2012, 2013 and 2014, 16 players finished inside the top 5 (including ties). Of those 16 players only three of them were ranked inside the top 60 in terms of driving accuracy in the year they recorded their top 5 finish, thus showing that driving accuracy is far from important.
On the other hand driving distance didn’t prove to be particularly important either. Just 6 of the 16 players that finished inside the top 5 ranked 50th or better in the driving distance statistic in the year they recorded their top 5 finish. However it should be noted that driving distance has proved to be more significant than driving accuracy in this event because the rough isn’t too punishing.
So if driving accuracy and distance aren’t overly important what are the key traits required to win this week? Personally I’ve focused on putting and scrambling stats. Eleven of the 16 players that have finished inside the top 5 over the last three years have been ranked 60th or better in the strokes gained putting statistic. Four of the five players that didn’t rank inside the top 60 gained strokes on the field putting, James Hahn being the only exception in 2013. Finally eleven of the 16 players that have been in the top 5 over the last three years have been ranked 60th or better in terms of scrambling in the year they finished inside the top 5. These stats suggest to me that the winner will be the golfer who scrambles and putts the best over the course of the week.
Patrick Reed – I don’t particularly like backing players shorter than 25/1 in a big field however Patrick Reed ticks all the boxes this week. Over the last couple of years the talented American has been excellent, he’s won four PGA Tour events and he also had a brilliant Ryder Cup. His latest win came at the start of the year in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and at the rate he’s progressing he’ll inevitably win again soon.
As I’ve mentioned above Reed ticks all of the boxes. He’s played in this event on two occasions and has recorded 7th and 13th place finishes, thus proving that the three courses in use this week suit his game. Driving accuracy has proved to be irrelevant, thus favouring Reed who is far from accurate off the tee. The other two statistics which I believe are beneficial are scrambling and par 5 performance. This season Reed is currently ranked 1st in the scrambling statistic and last year he was ranked 42nd in terms of par 5 performance on the PGA Tour.
Kevin Streelman – My favourite bet this week is Kevin Streelman at a generous 100/1. He is a two time PGA Tour winner and I think he has a decent chance of winning for a third time this week. Course form has proved to be important in the past and Kevin has made his last four cuts in this event and in 2012 he tied for ninth.
As always current form is crucial and Streelman has made the cut in each event he has played in in 2015. In Kevin’s most recent outing he finished 30th in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and closed the tournament with a 64, this suggesting that his game is in good shape.
Brian Stuard – Brian Stuard performed very well throughout the 2014 season and this led to a 51st place finish in the Fedex Cup. He recorded four top ten finishes and this includes a 2nd place finish in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Last season’s performances suggest that he is capable of recording his first victory on the PGA Tour.
Admittedly Stuard has started this season slowly, however he tied for tenth a couple of weeks ago in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and he finished 53rd in the Farmers Insurance Open last week. 53rd obviously isn’t a great result but he performed well from tee to green and simply had a poor week with the putter which is usually one of his strengths.
Brian finished 30th in this event in 2013 which suggests he can perform well and his game should suit the course. Scrambling is important and in 2014 the American was ranked 41st on the PGA Tour in terms of scrambling. Finally scoring well on the par 5’s has proved to be important in this event and Stuard was ranked 32nd on the PGA Tour last season in terms of par 5 performance, thus suggesting he’s capable of playing the par 5’s well.
Andres Gonzales – Andres Gonzales is a web.com tour graduate and I’m sure he’ll be pleased with the start he has made on the PGA Tour. Admittedly he doesn’t have the course form which is required however I can’t see why his game won’t suit this event. He is long off the tee which is preferable and he can be erratic at times however driving accuracy has proved to be irrelevant, this favouring Gonzales. Scrambling is a trait which I believe to be important and last season on the web.com tour Gonzales was ranked 18th in terms of the scrambling statistic, a good week around the greens could see Gonzales in contention on Sunday.
Current form is crucial when betting on golf and Gonzales has played some good golf since he earned his PGA Tour card. The American finished 3rd in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba towards the end of 2014, this shows he is more than capable of competing on the PGA Tour. Last week Andres played in the Farmers Insurance Open and tied for 27th position despite shooting a final round of 77. Last week’s performance in California suggests Gonzales is playing well and for this reason I’m happy to back him at a generous 300/1.