Dustin Johnson will tee it up in this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for his first PGA Tour event since the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Johnson tied for seventh in Hawaii and is coming off a runner-up finish at the European Tour’s Saudi International last week. He returns to mainland USA for the first time since last August’s Tour Championship and leads this field as the No. 5 golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking. Below, we’ll look at the course and key stats for the week, and make our betting picks for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am based on Monday’s odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Johnson, who won here in 2009 and 2010, is joined by fellow former winners Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth, and reigning champ Phil Mickelson. Sports stars Peyton and Eli Manning, Wayne Gretzky, Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers highlight those making up the amateur portion of the event.
The course: Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach GL has been returned to standard conditions following last year’s US Open. It will be played by every golfer in the field for one of the first three rounds and again for Sunday’s final for those who make the 54-hole cut. The featured course measures just 6,816 yards and plays as a par 72. The other two rounds from Thursday-Saturday will be split between Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterrey Peninsula Country Club. They measure 6,953 and 6,958 yards and play to pars of 72 and 71, respectively.
All three courses feature Poa Annua greens and the putting surfaces are considerably smaller than the average Tour venue.
Key stats to consider for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Each of the last five winners of this event finished at 17-under or lower. Outside of Mickelson, Spieth and Snedeker, Ted Potter Jr. and Vaughn Taylor both have wins here in the last five years. It has been a strong event for betting longshots, but those at the top of the board are generally in contention, as well. The world ranking of the last five champs at the time of their win has ranged from No. 6 (Spieth) to 447 (Taylor).
Based on the (lack of) length of the course and the small putting surfaces, we’re focusing on Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Around the Green, and Strokes Gained: Scrambling. Proximity from 125-150 Yards is the most important distance for approach shots. Par 4 Scoring: 350-400 Yards is also important as the most common hole length. Birdies Gained has historically been the most important scoring statistic.
My model at Fantasy National looks at the most recent 36 rounds for each golfer in the field played on courses shorter than 7,200 yards. Putting on courses featuring Poa Annua greens should also be taken into consideration.
Pebble Beach Pro-Am betting picks: Sleepers and value bets
Patrick Rodgers (+12500)
Rodgers is the pick to follow the lead of Potter, Taylor, and D.A. Points (2011) who emerged seemingly out of nowhere to claim victory at Pebble Beach. He comes into the week ranked 278th by the OWGR following a T-9 at the Farmers Insurance Open and a T-16 at last week’s Waste Management Open. He hasn’t missed a cut in four events in 2020. Rodgers made the cut in only 11 of his 21 events last year.
The 27-year-old is the best Poa Annua putter in the field, and he has ranked near the top of the field in Strokes Gained: Putting at each of his last two events, according to Data Golf. He can also be backed at +2000 odds for a top-5 finish or +1000 for a top 10.
Chez Reavie (+8500)
Reavie stumbles into the week having missed three straight cuts following a T-27 at the 30-man Sentry Tournament of Champions. Last year’s Travelers Championship winner has slipped to No. 41 in the world, after peaking at No. 26 in 2019. He has a mixed history at this event, but he was the co-runner-up in 2018 and followed it up with a T-38 last year. He ranks ninth overall by the stat model while leaning on strengths of approach and scoring on the shorter par 4s.
Tom Hoge (+5500)
Hoge comes into the week in excellent form to open 2020. He tied for 12th at the Sony Open, tied for sixth at The American Express, finished solo fifth at the Farmers and tied for 25th last week. He missed the cut here each of the last two years, but he finished T-41 and T-39 in his previous two visits. The 30-year-old began his 2019-20 season with a runner-up finish at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier and enters the week at a career-best 142nd in the OWGR.
Pebble Beach Pro-Am betting picks: Our winner
Brandt Snedeker (+2800)
Snedeker, the 2015 champ, has higher odds than he should. His missed cut last week in Phoenix has suppressed the number following his tie for third at Torrey Pines. In the four years since his victory here, he finished T-35, 4th, T-20 and missed the cut last year. He’s excelling around the greens and in scrambling, while the shorter venue plays to his advantage, as well. Additionally, he leads the field in three-putt avoidance on Poa greens over his last 24 rounds on such courses. He’s third in SG: Putting on the difficult surface.
This article was originally published on Monday. Odds subject to change.