The most unpredictable start to a PGA Tour season in recent memory continues on with the second-of-eight Signature Events with this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Being a Signature Event, the field this week will feature all of the stars of the PGA Tour.
For the third straight week we will see a multi-course format. However, unlike year’s past it will be a two course rotation opposed to a three course rotation.
Golfers will play one of each Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill Thursday and Friday before the cut. The final two rounds will then be played at Pebble Beach on the weekend.
This means Monterey Peninsula will be dropped from the rotation for this installment of the event.
This event is also a Pro-Am but unlike years past, amateurs will play alongside the pros for just the first two days, opposed to the typical three.
Pebble Beach has been a part of the PGA Tour Schedule since 1937.
This will be our first look at a full-field PGA Tour Signature Event, which consists of just 80 golfers, opposed to the historical 156 golfer field.
This is a no-cut event with a heightened purse of $20 million.
Being a Signature Event, the field is loaded and will feature all of the big names of the PGA Tour.
The field consists of the following:
Top-50 in the 2023 FedEx Cup Points
No. 51-60 FedEx Cup Points via FedEx Cup Fall performance
Aon Swing 5: Top-5 FedEx Cup point earners since the previous Signature Event (The Sentry)
Top-30 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR)
5 Sponsor Exemptions
Jon Rahm is the only elite talent not in this week’s field due to his preseason move to the LIV Tour.
Typically, as this event played opposite the Saudi Invitational, many of the World’s best would be teeing it up in the Middle-East.
Last year we saw Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tony Finau playing in the desert opposed to Pebble Beach.
Justin Rose comes in as the defending champion as he sustained a weather delay to claim the title on Monday last year.
Other former winners of this event in this week’s field include Tom Hoge, Nick Taylor and Jordan Spieth.
We will once again see a multi-course rotation this week between Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. This will be the last multi-course event of the 2024 PGA Tour season however.
Although this event is a pro-am, the two courses used this week offer tough challenges, opposed to the pro-ams we typically see.
Still, the courses will be set up to not kill the amateurs. The greens will roll on the slower side of things and the rough will not be grown out to its limits.
Pebble Beach is one of the most infamous courses in the world of golf. It is both iconic and picturesque and offers some of the most stunning backdrops the world of golf has to offer.
It plays as a Par-72 at roughly 7,100 yards in length.
Due to the angular hole layouts, Pebble Beach offers the shortest average driving distance of any course on Tour. The average driving distance falls at around 274 yards as the Tour average sits at 290 yards.
This forces golfers to layup off the tee and almost completely removes any advantage that long hitters off the tee may have.
Pebble Beach also features some of the smallest greens on the entire Tour at an average of 3,500 square feet. They are also laid in Poa grass, which is the same grass used at the South Course at Torrey Pines that we saw last week.
The small greens add an emphasis on finding the fairways and then on quality approach play.
To go along with all of the challenges these small greens present, Pebble Beach too yields one of the lowest Greens in Regulation Percentages on Tour. This adds an emphasis to Strokes Gained: Around the Green work as well.
Historically speaking, Pebble Beach plays at 0.9 strokes over par.
Unlike most multi-course events where the opposite course is much easier than the main course, Spyglass Hill is no walk-in-the-park.
It features five holes exposed to the coast and outside of that, is a tree-lined venue that protects itself from the elements.
If the winds are to pick up, Spyglass Hill plays more difficult than Pebble Beach.
It plays as a Par-72 at 7,035 yards and features four par-fours that measure under 400 yards. Golfers must take advantage of those holes during their round at Spyglass Hill.
The scoring average at Spyglass Hill is 0.5 strokes over par.
Both courses sit along the coast and if winds become a factor, golfers will have to grind out each-and-every hole.
As of the time of writing this, the weather does not look to be on our side this week. Rain is in the forecast for each day this week outside of Saturday. Thursday currently calls for a 75-percent chance of precipitation, Friday a 55-percent chance and Sunday a 65-percent chance. With the rain will come the winds. Thursday and Friday are calling for winds of 12 and 14 miles-per-hour respectively. Saturday looks to be the only clear day with winds set at six miles-per-hour. The winds will be at the worst on Sunday, currently set at 21 miles-per-hour. If we are to see a second straight year with weather delays, Monday looks no better as forecasts currently call for a 75-percent chance of precipitation and winds at 19 miles-per-hour. Weather will be a factor this week nonetheless.
Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)
Driving Accuracy Percentage
Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SG: ATG)
Proximity to the Hole Less Than 150 Yards / Proximity to the Hole From 100-125 Yards
Par 4 Average Scoring
Par 5 Average Scoring
Birdie or Better Percentage
Strokes Gained: Putting on Poa (SG: PUTT Poa)
Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)
With just four golfers in this price range I’m going to suggest one golfer here and two in the remaining price ranges. To me, Xander Schauffele ($10,000) offers the best value in this price range. With Rory McIlroy ($11,500) and Scottie Scheffler ($11,400) being significantly more expensive, Schauffele and Hovland ($10,200) peaked my interest. I do like Schauffele a bit more this week than Hovland however. Schauffele finished last season third on Tour in SG: APP, seventh in par four average scoring, 11th in proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards, 15th in birdie or better percentage, 16th in par five average scoring, 34th in scrambling, 60th in GIR%, 69th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 90th in SG: ATG, 105th in SG: PUTT Poa and 131st in driving accuracy percentage. Now, the accuracy does concern me a bit but with the rest of the game lining up, I feel like he can perform well this week. On the season he’s gone T10th at The Sentry Tournament of Champions, T3rd at The American Express and T9th at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. The last time Schauffele had played this event was 2017 where he made the cut but did place T3rd here at the U.S. Open in 2019.
This is the price range where we can find two of my favorites to win this week. First up we have Collin Morikawa ($9,100) who offers extreme value at the bottom of this price range. Part of his value comes with a missed cut at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open but did go T5th at The Sentry Tournament of Champions. He has never played this event prior however and placed T19th in 2019 at the U.S. Open, the same year he became a professional. He finished last season second on Tour in both SG: APP and proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards, seventh in both par five average scoring and GIR%, eighth in driving accuracy percentage, 17th in birdie or better percentage, 19th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 36th in par four average scoring, 74th in SG: PUTT Poa, 94th in scrambling and 96th in SG: ATG. I’m hanging my hat on his elite iron play carrying him this week. He’s also on my betting card at +2200 for two units. Also consider Max Homa ($9,200.) Another great value in my opinion. Homa placed T14th at The Sentry Tournament of Champions and T13th at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also has proven success here at this course and event. He placed T10th in 2019, T14th in 2021 and T7th in 2020. He finished last season ninth in birdie or better percentage, 13th in SG: PUTT Poa, 15th in both scrambling and par four average scoring, 26th in SG: APP, 27th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 33rd in SG: ATG, 41st in par five average scoring, 59th in proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards, 93rd in driving accuracy percentage and 106th in GIR%. I’m playing two units on him at +2000.
Leading off this price range is none other than Tom Kim ($8,000) at the very bottom of this price range. Kim will be making his Pebble Beach debut this week. He hasn’t had a great start to the season either, placing T45th at The Sentry Tournament of Champions and missing the cut at The American Express. His form too is part of the value we’re getting this week. He finished last season seventh on Tour in par four average scoring, tenth in SG: APP, 12th in driving accuracy percentage, 14th in par five average scoring, 16th in birdie or better percentage, 23rd in proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards, 26th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 29th in GIR%, 62nd in scrambling and 93rd in SG: ATG. The problem with Kim is of course his putter as he ranks 149th in SG: PUTT Poa. Not ideal but he is capable of finding a hot flat stick. I’m playing a unit on him at +4500. Also consider Tony Finau ($8,800.) Finau has played this event twice where he placed T38th in 2019 and T23rd in 2017. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open here in 2019. He started the season with a T38th at The Sentry Tournament of Champions, T25th at The American Express and T6th at the Farmers Insurance Open. He finished last season fifth in SG: APP, 12th in par five average scoring, 24th in par four average scoring, 26th in birdie or better percentage, 31st in proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards, 40th in GIR%, 49th in SG: ATG, 59th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 69th in scrambling and 86th in driving accuracy. His downfall, and what’s keeping him off my betting card, is his putter as he ranks 120th in SG: PUTT Poa. I still believe the DFS value is there however and that’s why he’s here.
I absolutely love both of my plays in this price range. First up we have the world’s most accurate golfer off-the-tee in Russell Henley ($7,800.) Henley finished last season first on Tour in driving accuracy percentage, seventh in par four average scoring, 13th in both proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards and proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards, 18th in both SG: APP and scrambling, 29th in both SG: ATG and GIR%, 48th in par five average scoring and 72nd in birdie or better percentage. As the trend continues, he’ll require a hot flat stick as he ranks 120th in SG: PUTT Poa, but with a course that requires accuracy off the tee and elite iron play, Henley checks the boxes. In his last outing, he placed T4th at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He’s played this event four times prior, highlighted by a T15th in 2018. He’s on my betting card for one unit at +6000. Also consider Brendon Todd ($7,000.) Todd finished last season second on Tour in SG: PUTT Poa, third in SG: ATG, seventh in scrambling, ninth in both driving accuracy percentage and proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards, 15th in par four average scoring, 34th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 47th in birdie or better percentage, 62nd in par five average scoring, 67th in SG: APP and 129th in GIR%. He started this season by going T33rd at The Sentry Tournament of Champions and T30th at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He placed T2nd here at this event a season ago. He also placed T16th in 2022, T10th in 2015 and T9th in 2009. He seems to know his way around this course. I’m also playing a unit on him at +12000.
My first suggestion in this final price range is J.J. Spaun ($6,200.) Talk about value. He has missed the cut in both of his two outings this season at the Sony Open in Hawaii and the Farmers Insurance Open but he fits the mold of this course much better. Spaun last played in this event in 2022 where he placed T16th. He also finished last season third on Tour in scrambling, 12th in GIR%, 24th in both proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards and par four average scoring, 32nd in SG: ATG, 41st in driving accuracy percentage, 51st in SG: APP, 54th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 82nd in par five average scoring, 96th in birdie or better percentage and 98th in SG: PUTT Poa. Not a bad resume for someone in this price range. Also consider Lucas Glover ($6,500.) Glover has started this season by going T29th at The Sentry Tournament of Champions and missing the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Although he missed the cut in his last two outings here, he placed T7th in 2019 and T11th in 2016. There are also very few, if any, golfers in this field who have played this course and event more than Glover. He also played in the U.S. Open here in 2019 but missed the cut there. He finished last season by going fifth on Tour in driving accuracy percentage, ninth in proximity to the hole from 100-125 yards, 14th in GIR%, 15th in SG: APP, 24th in par four average scoring, 29th in proximity to the hole from less than 150 yards, 38th in scrambling and 40th in birdie or better percentage. Of course being in this price range he does come with some red flags such as a 133th placement in SG: ATG, 144th in par five average scoring and 169th in SG: PUTT Poa.
Max Homa (+2000) - 2u
Collin Morikawa (+2200) - 2u
Tom Kim (+4500) - 1u
Russell Henley (+6000) - 1u
Brendon Todd (+12000) - 1u