Preview: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Preview – PGA Tour — AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – Pebble Beach Golf Links (host course) – Pebble Beach, California –

This week’s PGA Tour event – AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – features a three-course rotation along Carmel Bay and the Monterey Peninsula with scenic Pacific Ocean views. The event features a mix of professional and celebrity amateur golfers.

The four-round event has a field of 156, which will be cut to low 60 professionals and ties after 54 holes. Pebble hosts the final round. Among the 156 pro-am players is actors/comedians Bill Murray, Craig T. Nelson and Andy Garcia along with World Series baseball champions from the San Francisco Giants Matt Cain and Buster Posey.

The host course is Pebble Beach Golf Links (par 72, 6,816 yards), but players also navigate Spyglass Hill Golf Club (72/6,833) and Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club (72/6,900). Pebble is the shortest course on the PGA Tour, but it also has the smallest greens.

This week’s field features the 2015 debut of Jim Furyk, who last won in 2010 at the TOUR Championship. He is currently No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Dustin Johnson, who has two victories here, continues his comeback this week. He is trying to join some elite company with three victories at this event. Marc O’Meara has five wins at Pebble, one up on Phil Mickelson while Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller have three each.

2014 Results:

  • Jimmy Walker (11-under) built a big lead, but held on to win a by shot despite a final-round 2-over-74. Dustin Johnson, who shot 66 Sunday, ended up T-2 alongside Jim Renner. Kevin Na and Jordan Spieth logged T-4 efforts at 8-under and three back. Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell and Pat Perez managed Top 10 efforts.

Look for long hitters to fare well again this week with all three courses playing less than 7,000. Golf Channel has television coverage all week with CBS Sports closing out the end of the weekend coverage.

FANTASY: Take Walker who seems to contend every week at this point. As defending champion, Walker won the Sony Open in Hawaii and has four Top 10s at Pebble. Take Baddeley historically plays well here with his putting ability. He has Top 6 efforts in his last two of his last three starts at Pebble. He was T-12 last year. Take a long hitter like Jason Kokrak. He has Top 20s here during his last two visits. Brandt Snedeker, a champion from 2013 with a 72-hole record, should contend this week.

BETTORS: Day is outright favorite at 8-to-1 odds at and for good reason. Day captured the Farmers Insurance Open last week and is the highest ranked player in the field at No. 4. He is also fifth in Scoring Average this season and T-5 in Greens in Regulation Percentage. Na (50-1) is worth a long shot wager in this spot. He has finished inside the Top 5 in two of his last three times here. Take Nick Watney, who contended at Torrey Pines with a T-7. He has a pair of Top 10s here and comes in at 33-1 odds. 

Other Golf News:

  • Tiger Woods announced he is stepping away from the game for a while. The opt-injured Woods has slipped to 62nd in the world rankings and has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open.
  • World No. 1 Rory McIlroy committed to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. He is idle this week.
  • Thongchai Jaidee and Miguel Angel Jimenez headline the field at the European Tour’s Thailand Championship. Alexander Noren is the betting favorite at 8-1 odds.
  • The Champions Tour hosts the ACE Group Classic in Naples this week in Florida.