By News Team
Last Updated: 5th February 2020
One of the most iconic courses in the world plays host this week as the beautiful Pebble Beach hosts the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Ahead of Thursday’s opening round, we’ve taken a look at the best bets.
Johnson the man to beat and rightfully so
Though it sits alongside the Old Course and Augusta as the courses us mere mortals would dream to play, Pebble Beach’s annual PGA Tour event is arguably not quite the tournament it once was. While there is perhaps not a better setting to play, the field for this year’s tournament is lacking in depth with just three of the top 20 in the world rankings teeing it up. The highest of those is Dustin Johnson and he looks to have very solid claims of winning the title for a third time.
Having won the title in 2009 and again in 2010, he looked almost certain to win his first Major later in 2010. However, a shocking final round of 82 cost him dear, though that hasn’t stopped his huge love affair with Pebble with six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts at this event. He has a knack of going well at the same venue and given he told reporters in Saudi Arabia he has his game somewhere near where he wants it, he must come into this brimming with confidence.
The only nagging concern is the long-haul flight back from Saudi Arabia. He did the same last year having won there and never got going, so he has to prove he can overcome that. Other than that, his credentials are there for us all to see and given the lack of serious opposition at the head of the market, he looks rock solid at 6/1.
Snedeker should go well at a course he loves
When looking back through the trends of this event, it’s clear that course form often plays an important role. Phil Mickelson won here for a fifth time last year, while as mentioned Johnson has won here twice and has come close on a number of other occasions. Another two-time winner is Brandt Snedeker and he looks the most likely to ruffle Johnson’s feathers at 22/1.
As well as those two victories, he also has a fourth and an eighth finish at Pebble Beach, so this is clearly a course he excels at. While he clearly adores this track, it should be noted that Snedeker plays particularly well on poa annua putting surfaces as shown by his two wins at Torrey Pines. That course is similar to this week’s test in a number of ways and Snedeker showed us his liking to this style of golf with a tie for third at Torrey a couple of weeks ago.
He hasn’t been at his best off the tee this season (ranked 152nd for driving accuracy), but given this is a Pro Am event, the fairways will be generous to accommodate the plethora of celebrities playing as well. A missed cut in Phoenix last week is a slight worry, though he hasn’t played well there for the last few years so it’s best to ignore that effort. Instead, look to his stellar record in California and you’ve got a pretty solid bet.
Have a listen to our latest golf podcast where we preview both of this week’s tournaments.