The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has produced a broad spectrum of golfers who’ve dominated the event. From powerful golfers like Dustin Johnson to short game wizards like Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, there’s opportunity for all types of golfers to hoist the trophy on Sunday afternoon.
- 2018: Ted Potter, Jr.
- 2017: Jordan Spieth
- 2016: Vaughn Taylor
- 2015: Brandt Snedeker
- 2014: Jimmy Walker
- 2013: Brandt Snedeker
Last year, Ted Potter, Jr. went off at 225/1 and shocked everyone by holding off Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Phil Mickelson to capture his second career title on the PGA Tour. In the last five years, the winner has been golfers who aren’t the longest off the tee but possess great skills on and around the greens. However, longer hitters like Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and four time champion Phil Mickelson have used their combination of power and precision to take home the title.
Who will win it this year? Here are my picks (odds courtesy of mybookie.ag):
Jason Day – 8/1: Jason Day is the best all-around golfer in the field and, unlike Dustin Johnson, is not coming into the event just playing on the other side of the world. While that’s not to say Dustin Johnson won’t perform well this weekend (he’s worthy of a sniff at -130 for a Top 10 finish), he’ll likely have an off round to keep him from winning.
Instead, I’ll opt for Jason Day of the two big favorites to win the event. Not only does Jason Day have the game tee-to-green to finally win at Pebble Beach, he’s one of the best putters in the world and a solid bunker player, a trend that has continued in 2019. While the bad weather does give me worry that it’ll wreck his comically weak immune system (and while you’re at it, see if your book will let you create a “Will Jason Day Mention He’s Battling a Cold at His Wednesday Press Conference” prop), I like him to check off a win early in 2019.
Tommy Fleetwood – 22/1: After a rather ho-hum performance in the Middle East, Fleetwood makes his debut in the United States this week at Pebble Beach. Like Day, Fleetwood combines both the long and short game to contend for his first title on the PGA Tour. He also has fared well in colder and poorer weather events in his career. While he can be up and down with the putter, he’s been decent in his career on slower, Poa Annua surfaces. Maybe this week he’ll finally break through for his first victory in the United States.
Adam Scott – 28/1: Which Adam Scott will show up this week – the one who was absolutely horrendous in Hawaii or the guy who could do no wrong at Torrey Pines two weeks ago?
I’m more apt to believe that the version of Adam Scott we saw at Torrey Pines is more representative of the one we saw at the Sony Open. His ball-striking statistics at Torrey Pines were more in line to what we expect out of him. The difference, however, was that his putting was uncharacteristically phenomenal.
Can that continue on the slow Poa Annua surfaces this weekend – probably. For one, Scott seems to have found a putting style he feels comfortable with. He’s going with the arm-lock style made popular by Bryson DeChambeau and has helped the likes of Webb Simpson, who struggled to adjust after the anchoring ban much like Adam Scott did. He also seems to like the new rule change that allows one to leave the pin in on putts. If he putts the way he did at Torrey Pines, he’ll be right in the mix to win for the first time since 2016.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello -150 over Cameron Champ: The juice is pretty big here, but Champ does not seem like the type that’ll fare well at an event like the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Sure he’s a god off the tee, but at a place that demands precision with short irons and good scrambling, he simply falls flat in those categories. Last week I got burned by fading him against Daniel Berger, and while I was right that Champ wouldn’t fare well, Berger was worse. I’ll go back to the well by fading him against Bello, who’s a better all-around and mature player.
Patrick Cantlay -115 over Patrick Reed: Cantlay has hit the ball great this year but has struggled big time on the greens. A lot of his struggles seem to stem from a very poor performance putting at the Desert Classic, where he lost 1.87 strokes to the field. Other than that, he’s been relatively OK. He’s putted better traditionally on Poa Annua surfaces and after a week off I like him to play solid. While Reed is a formidable foe, I’m not sure how motivated or fresh he’ll be after going from La Jolla to Saudi Arabia and now back to California in three consecutive weeks.