The Waste Management Phoenix Open had an exciting finish on Superbowl Sunday. With two holes to go, Tony Finau (33/1) had a two-stroke lead on Webb Simpson (14/1). Simpson birdied the final two holes to force a playoff and proceeded to win the tournament by birdieing hole 18 one more time. Fans were treated to a thrilling end, and the “People’s Major” was another huge success in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tipped off in last week’s article, Justin Thomas (9/1) and Bubba Watson (30/1) came close with third-place finishes.
The PGA Tour will now head to California for the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. As the name suggests, each Pro will be paired with an amateur golfer. This will lead to much longer rounds than usual, and it will require plenty of patience from the 156 professionals participating. It is important to note that every golfer is guaranteed 54 holes on the three-course rotation before the normal cut takes place.
Making his 2020 PGA Tour season debut, Dustin Johnson is atop the betting board at +675. “DJ” had a second-place finish in Saudi Arabia last week, and he returns to a course that he’s had success at. Patrick Cantlay (+1000), Paul Casey (+1800), Jason Day (+2200), and Matt Kuchar (+2200) are the next top favorites this week.
Golfers will have to navigate between three different courses this week. Pebble Beach Golf Links will play host to two of the four rounds, and it’s the most difficult of the three. The course is only 6,816 yards long, but it plays as a par 72 and is a challenging test of golf for the pros. Spyglass Hill Golf Club is also a par 72 and measures as the longest of the three at 6,960. Note that this is still considerably shorter than the Tour average, as most courses are above 7,000 yards. Monterey Peninsula Country Club is the only par 71 and measures 6,958 yards. Pay close attention to the weather closer to Thursday, as windy conditions can definitely affect scoring conditions tremendously.
- Strokes Gained: Approach (100-150 yards)
- Par 5 Scoring
- Course History
- Par 4 Scoring (350-400 yards)
- Performance on Poa Annua Greens
Best Bets to Win
Paul Casey (+1800 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Casey is off to a solid start to his 2020 PGA Tour season. He has three top-25 finishes this year, and he now returns to Pebble Beach, where he has had great success. He finished runner-up to Phil Mickelson last year and eighth place in 2018, so Casey has the game to go low here.
He is a brilliant ball-striker that hits plenty of fairways and greens. Putting on Poa Annua grass should help his shortcomings on the greens. Casey is the fifth-best performer on poa greens since 2014, gaining 2.687 strokes on the field. He is also extremely good with his wedges, top 10 in the field in proximity from 100-150 yards.
Brandt Snedeker (+2800 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
A two-time winner here (2013, 2015), Snedeker knows his way around these courses. He is coming off of a T3 showing a couple of weeks ago at Torrey Pines, and he always seems to play well at the courses he likes. Snedeker is brilliant on poa greens, as many of his nine PGA Tour wins have come on this surface.
Where Snedeker has a massive edge on the field is on and around the green. Currently ranked 12th in strokes gained: putting, and 15th in strokes gained: around-the-green, Snedeker can rack up birdies in a hurry. With all three courses being shorter than the Tour average, it can only benefit Snedeker. He does not gain his strokes off the tee like many long hitters.
Kevin Streelman to place in the top 10 (+1100 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
This is excellent value for a guy who has four straight top-20 finishes at the event. In his last two times teeing it up here, he has a 6th and a 7th place showing. Streelman is top-10 in the field in the last 36 rounds in gaining strokes on par 4s that measure between 350-400 yards. He thrives on shorter courses, and I expect another strong showing from him this year.