2015 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Pebble Beach, California • Purse: $6,800,000.



Courses



The Pebble Beach Pro Am is a tough one to call with three courses in operation since 2010.  The iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links at just 6,816 yards, is the site of GMac’s triumph and while not set up like a US Open this week still represents a tricky test. The second-course is Monterrey Peninsula (also short at 6,867 yards) and the third is Spyglass Hill.  Spyglass is the course you do not want to be playing when the wind gets up as at 6,953-yards it is not just the longest of the three but for the last five years the toughest.

The field will play one round on each with the top 60 playing a final round at Pebble Beach. The forecast is for excellent sunshine and light winds.





Bookies Favourites And Why


Jimmy Walker 8/1


Impossible to argue with this as Jimmy was imperious in winning here in 2014.  Everything was firing for the first three days and though he found it tougher on Sunday, had enough in the bank to hold off the rest.  Coming off a T7 at a difficult Torrey Pines in The Farmers, Walker looks ready to win again.  Since missing the cut in this tournament in 2010, he has gone T9, T9, T3, Win in his last four visits.




Jordan Spieth 15/1


Third visit to the tournament for Jordan Spieth and it owes him one.  Was undone by the luck of the draw in the blustery wind on Saturday last year and slipped out of the lead with a 78.  Bounced back in the final round with a 67 which brought him up to T4 and showed that he has the skillset to contend here.  Missed the cut last week on the tough driving challenge at Torrey but should find the set-up more to his liking here. Light winds forecast will help him too.  Recent best of T7 in Phoenix.



Doc’s Top Five To Watch



1. Brandt Snedeker 20/1



Tipped Sneds last week at Torrey after his T10 in Phoenix but he could only manage a T19.  Interestingly he led the field in putting two weeks ago and was third in greens hit in regulation last week.  If he can combine the two the two this week, he can contend.  Two missed cuts in his last three visits to Pebble have his price out at 20/1 but also the Winner here in 2013.





2. Patrick Reed 16/1

Pat is finding himself having to deal with a lot of off the course niggles at the moment with the release of a book claiming he did some nasty things in his college days.  Let’s hope he can put all that to one side this week and contend in a tournament where he has shown promise.  Two top 15’s from his only two starts here, with a T7 the better of the two in 2013.  Won the Tournament of Champions a month ago and has been solid if unspectacular since at The Humana and in Phoenix.



3. JB Holmes 35/1


With those dodgy rollerblades probably given away to some charity shop a long time ago, why not give big JB a twist this week at Pebble.  Played brilliantly at Torrey Pines last week and only lost to (a pretty damn lucky on the 18th in regulation) Jason Day in a playoff.

 That will have Holmes brimming with confidence coming back to a place where he has gone close in the past.  Ever present at Pebble since 2007, only missed the cut once in 2012 and has a tournament best finish of tied second in 2010 when Dustin Johnson won.





4. Hunter Mahan 22/1


Congrats to Hunter on becoming a Dad for the second time last week and he has gotten the green light to head on out and earn the family some corn.  I make it five straight top-30 finishes in a row for Hunter bridging this season and last.  Maybe doesn’t have the same amount of game time as the others but he an enviable formline at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am with a solo sixth last year, T16 in 2013, T15 in 2012 and solo second in 2011 when DA Points did his chest bump thing with Bill Murray.  Statistically one of the best fairways and greens hitters at this event over the past four years.





5. Shane Lowry 45/1

Is it conceivable to think that Shane Lowry can win on the PGA Tour?

Let me ask you a question.  Since missing the cut at the Irish Open last June, Shane has played 15 strokeplay events; how many times has he finished outside the top 35?  The answer is once, at the US PGA in Valhalla where he tied 46th.  Shane is in the best form of his golfing life and having finished 2014 with a solo fifth at the Tour Championship, took up right where he left off with a T11 at The Nedbank and T7 at Torrey Pines on his PGA Tour debut.  Add that form to popping Shane into an event beside the sea like at Vilamoura or in Baltray and you have a sound each way chance.





Long Odds Glory Shots



Spencer Levin is at 70/1 this week and must have found something after two missed cuts with an impressive T11 at The Farmers where patience is required.  Has two decent finishes here too with a T4 in 2011 in T9 in 2012.  Keep calm and breathe Spencer!





Aaron Baddeley  let us down last week in our long odds slot by missing the cut but at 80/1 (and with time to practice) he’s not to be discounted here.  Perennially up there in the driving and putting stats for this week, Badds has had some great finishes with a T6 in 2011, solo fourth in 2012 and T12 in 2013.
 
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