• Steve Kennedy

2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

One of my favourite courses on the PGA Tour circuit takes centre stage this week as we head to the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Links for the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The venue is located a scenic two hour drive from downtown San Francisco and offers players , fans and those of us stuck watching on TV incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and California Coastline.


Despite the course's prestige and the fact that it has held seven major championships over the years (US Open x6 , PGA Championship x1) it is a fully public course and very accessible for hackers like myself. It will however cost you just shy of $600 for a green fee but by all accounts it is worth every penny.


The list of major champions around this track is as good as it gets with Jack Nicklaus , Tom Watson and Tiger Woods all getting a US Open victory here at Pebble. This will give you an indication into the calibre of player needed to win around here - albeit this week the course wont be set up to 'major championship' conditions and the field this week is a long way off major championship standards.


It would be easy to address the elephant in the room and go into detail on why the field is a weak one . Two previous multi event champions -Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson -as well as many other PGA Tour regulars have chosen to cash in on a large pay day at the Saudi Invitational. However I think it has been perfectly summed up by the great Eamon Lynch in his GolfWeek piece which you can read here.


Last Week:

The less said about last week the better. After a promising -5 start , Finau struggled big time on the South course leading to a Missed Cut and a loss on the week.


The Betting:


A run down of the the favourites in the field this week based on odds via Oddschcker:

  • Patrick Cantlay - 8/1

  • Daniel Berger - 14/1

  • Will Zalaloris - 18/1

  • Jordan Speith , Jason Day - 20/1

  • Maverick McNealy , Justin Rose - 28/1

  • Seamus Power , Cameron Tringale - 30/1

  • Matt Fitzpatrick - 40/1

  • Kevin Streelman , Kevin Kisner , Ryan Palmer - 50/1

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Past Results at the At&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

​Year

Winner

Runner-Up

2021

Daniel Berger (-18)

Mavrick McNealy (-16)

2020

Nick Taylor (-19)

Kevin Streelman (-15)

2019

Phil Mickelson (-19)

Paul Casey (-16)

2018

Ted Potter Jr (-17)

Phil Mickelson , Dustin Johnson , Jason Day , Chez Reavie (-14)

2017

Jordan Speith (-19)

Kelly Kraft (-15)

2016

Vahghn Taylor (-17)

Phil Mickelson(-16)


(Daniel Berger with an eagle at the 18th to take home his 4th PGA Tour title)



Multiple Winners in the Field:

  • Brandt Snedeker (2 Wins)

  • Davis Love III (2 Wins)


The Course(s)

Pebble Beach is undoubtedly one of the best known and recognisable courses in the world of golf . Whether you mastered the course on EA Sport's Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game series or have watched year after year of drama unfold at the venue ,you are sure to recognise many of the great holes on show this week - no more so than the risk/reward Par 5 18th and the short but deadly Par 3 , 7th which measures at just 106 yards but has racked up some big numbers over the years.


As has been the case for the last two weeks on Tour , the event will be played across multiple different courses at Pebble Beach - Spyglass Hill , Monterey Peninsula Country Club and Pebble Beach Golf Links .


  • Spyglass Hill - Robert Trent Jones design , Par 72 , 7041 Yards ,

  • Monterey Peninsula Country Club - Jack Neville design, Par 71 , 6957 Yards


Two of the days , including Championship Sunday will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links and that is the course to focus on.

(The famous 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links)


Pebble Beach Golf Links is a Par 72 and measures at 6,972 Yards. It is made up four Par 3's , eight Par 4's and four Par 5's . It was originally designed in 1919 by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant but was redesigned to modern tour standards in 1991 by Jack Nicklaus and Ed Conner. Nicklaus completely revamped the Par 3 5th hole in the late 90's.


The courses main form of defence like many coastal golf courses is the level of wind in the forecast. The last six years as noted above have been won with scores ranging between -16 and -19 . Provided that wind conditions this week are nothing out of the ordinary we should see a 'high-teens' under par winning score .


The greens this week are pure Poa annua greens which will not be too dissimilar to the Bent/Poa mixed greens we saw at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last week. (Strokes Gained data below) . The course contains over 100 bunkers and the ocean comes into play on 9 of the 18 holes.


Looking through the statistical data of our last three winners of the event , gaining strokes on approach around these courses is the key route to victory. Dan Berger ranked 6th on approach last year , Nick Taylor ranked 13th in 2020 and 2019 champion Phil Mickelson led the field for SG: Approach on his way to a three shot victory.


(The iconic Par 3 7th hole at Pebble Beach)

The Stats

Similar to last week at Torrey Pines there is mountain of data to go through from events at the course. The leaderboard on Sunday matched up pretty well with the Top 10 SG Total around the course. Unfortunately for me the biggest exception to that was Tony Finau who decided give himself the weekend off after getting battered by the difficult South course on Thursday . Rahm , Rose , Day and Palmer were all in the Top 10 on the SG data and all featured prominently on the final day.


Looking strongly at prior course form is the way to go this week. The four stats I have pulled together for this week are:

  • SG Total at Pebble Beach (Last 5 Years)

  • SG Putting on Poa annua greens (Last 2 years)

  • SG Approach on PGA Tour over the last 6 months

  • SG: Putting last week (Poa/Bent grass greens)

Rank

SG:Total

​SG: Putting (Poa annua)

SG:Approach

SG: Putting (Last Week)

1

Kevin Streelman

Matt Kuchar

Daniel Berger

Wyndham Clark

2

Chez Reavie

Kevin Kisner

Mito Perriera

Scott Piercy

3

Matthew NeSmith

Brice Garnett

​Austin Eckroat

Pat Perez

4

Daniel Berger

Maverick McNealy

Will Zalatoris

Jason Day

5

Jordan Speith

Mark Hubbard

Tom Hoge

Chad Ramey

6

Nate Lashly

Brian Stuard

Chad Ramey

Matthew NeSmith

7

Jason Day

Troy Merritt

Chez Reavie

Maverick McNealy

8

Patrick Cantlay

Wyndham Clark

Russel Know

Daniel Berger

9

Russell Knox

Will Zalatoris

Kyle Stanley

Mito Pereira

10

Justin Rose

Adam Hadwin

Cameron Percy

Bill Haas


The Picks


Maverick McNealy 28/1 - 1 Unit Each Way Bet 365 - 5 Places E/W

The main bet this week is on the young Californian - Maverick McNealy. Despite being a PGA Tour maiden , McNealy will consider this one of his best chances to grab his first win on Tour. With some of the biggest names missing this week ,McNealy has all the tools in the bag to take advantage. He has an excellent record at the event with a runner up finish last year and a 5th place finish in 2020 . Having grown up playing a lot of golf on Poa and Bentgrass greens it is no surprise to see him 4th on Strokes Gained Putting on Poa annua greens over the last two years on tour as well an excellent putting performance last week at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. McNeally was very much in contention entering the final day at Torrey but went backwards shooting a three over par 75. He is in good form , one of the best putters in the field and has an excellent course record. All that considered - 28/1 seems like a fair price to me.

Kevin Streelman 50/1 - 1 Unit Each Way Bet 365 - 5 Places E/W

Streelman is a guy that turns up at this event year on year , sometimes in good form other times off the back of missed cuts and poor results. The one common denominator is that regardless of prior form Streelman brings his A-game to this event. Since 2016 he has finished 17th , 14th , 6th , 7th, 2nd and 13th . It is no surprise that he tops the Strokes Gained charts at Pebble Beach over the last five years. His recent performances are nothing spectacular but he is a two time PGA Tour winner is almost certain to give us a good run for our money this week.


Chez Reavie - 100/1 - 0.75 Units Each Way Paddy Power - 8 Places E/W

The last outright pick for the week is another strong course performer in Chez Reavie. Chez is second only to Kevin Streelman on Srokes Gained:Total around here over the last 5 years. His iron game has also been sharp of late and is inside the top 10 on Srokes Gaines Approach in the field over the last six months on tour. He is incredibly accurate off the tee (2nd for accuracy on tour last year) and has two Top 20 finishes at the event in the last 4 years - including a runner up spot in 2018. A two time winner on Tour , most recently at the 2019 Travellers Championship - all indicators point to a strong Reavie showing at a generous 100/1.



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