The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Best Bets (How to Bet Golfers at Pebble Beach)

This week, the PGA Tour rolls into the beautiful Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Jason Day Farmers Insurance Open 2024 - Round One
Jason Day Farmers Insurance Open 2024 - Round One / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Last week, our pick Tony Finau (+2500) was one stroke behind playing the par five 13th hole and, needing a birdie to tie, he bogeyed the hole and fell out of contention. Three weeks in a row of close calls but no cashes.  It’s fun to be in contention, but let’s get a win this week.

This week, the California Swing travels to the Monterey Peninsula in one of the most spectacular spots in the USA -- Pebble Beach, California.  Home to the Pebble Beach Golf Links and home to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the 77th consecutive year.

For those 77 years, the event was all-too familiar with its star celebrities getting equal if not more billing than the golf pros.  However, this year things will be changing primarily due to the PGA Tour’s knee-jerk reaction to losing some of its star players to the LIV Tour as well as all the money the LIV Tour has been handing out.

Yes, the AT&T is now a “Signature Event.”  That means the celebs will be gone by the weekend, the field is limited to only 80 players, only two courses (Spyglass Hill being the other course) in play instead of the normal three, and the biggest change?  How about the huge $20 million purse!  That more than doubles last year’s $9 million purse.

Here’s another thing I can tell you.  Most of the big names rarely played the event. I suppose they did not like the seven-hour rounds, the bad weather, and having a 72-hole Pro-Am. As a result, there is not a lot of track records for a lot of the favorites although the US Open was held here in 2019 (won by Gary Woodland).

If you’ve ever played or walked Pebble, the greens are amazingly small.  If you can hit the greens, your approach putts won’t be too far away.  Iron play and putting on those Poa greens will be key this week.

The top five favorites this week include most of the usuals.  Rory McIlroy +800, Scottie Scheffler +850, Viktor Hovland +1200, Xander Schauffele +1200, and Max Homa and Jordan Spieth at +1800.  For me, I’m leaning on Pebble Beach experience this week.  Here are the lucky seven (plus two).

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The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks

Jordan Spieth (+1800)

Form: Spieth shot 27 under at The Sentry in week one and has not been heard from since. Normally, that would eliminate him from my model, but I can’t ignore his stout track record here.

Horse for course: For starters, Spieth has a win in 2017, a second in 2022, and a tie third in 2021. He has two other top 10 finishes and has played this event more than anyone else in the field.

Stats: Not much to reveal based on his one event in 2024. Speith ranks fourth in GIR and first in putting average but those are all based on the easy Kapalua course where everyone went low.  In 2023, Spieth was 20th in putts per round and 13th in one-putt percentage, but his stats from putts within six feet were dreadful which ranked from 50th to 172nd in various lengths.

Local Ties: Spieth, of course, is a true Texan but seems to love the venue.

Odds: I’m a bit surprised Spieth is fifth choice considering his lack of starts this year. 

Max Homa (+1800)

Form:  Last week, a rather disappointing 13th place.  Homa’s only other event was The Sentry in week one where he finished t14. 

Horse for course:  Homa has only played the event three times with his best finish being a tie for seventh in 2021.   

Stats: In his two events this year, Homa is ranked sixth in strokes gained tee-to-green and an ugly 122nd in total putting.  In 2023, he was ranked 15th in strokes gained tee-to-green and sixth in strokes gained putting. He ranked in the top 20 four times on approach categories from under 150 yards and was third in putting average.

Local Ties:  Homa has two more shots at a home state California win.  I favor him in any Cali event.

Odds: Not surprisingly a top five favorite.

Patrick Cantlay (+2000)

Form:  Last week a lousy T56 as one of the favorites.  Two weeks ago, he finished T52 at The American Express and began the year with a T12 at The Sentry.    

Horse for course:  Cantlay has played here four times since 2014 and has two top fives and a tie for 11th.  He finished T21 at the US Open in 2019.

Stats: Why such lousy results this year? Well, he’s 149th in total driving, 119th in strokes gained on approaches to the green, 175th in proximity to the hole, 111th in scrambling and 139th in overall putting average. He does rank 21st in total birdies this year. Perhaps he can rack them up this week.

Local Ties:  Like Homa, he has surprisingly not fared well in the California events this year.

Odds: Just outside of the top five favorites. I’d say favorable odds considering he rarely is above +1800.

Jason Day (+4000)

Form:  Although I have not had much success in picking him, Day is indeed my pick to win this week.  Last week: Missed the cut. Two weeks ago, T34 at The Amex and a T10 at The Sentry in week one. 

Horse for course:  Day has the second most experience after Spieth.  He has five top fives in eight starts including a second in 2018. He tied 21st at the US Open in 2019.

Stats: Day is pretty consistent in all categories which is his strength. He ranks 26th in total driving, 38th in GIR and 21st in putting average.

Local Ties:  History has shown the Aussie plays well on the West Coast and here at Pebble.

Odds: Last week he was +3300 so we are getting a bit of an advantage here.

Beau Hossler (+5000)

Form:  Last week: tied for sixth.  Two weeks ago, Hossler tied for 47th at The Amex. 

Horse for course:  In his five appearances, Hossler has two top 15s including a third in 2022.

Stats: Surprise, Hossler ranks third in total strokes gained. He also ranks third in strokes gained putting and 10th in strokes gained on approaches to the green, and 14th in scoring average.  The bad news?  He ranks only 189th in total driving. Good thing Pebble and Spyglass are not bombers paradises.

Local Ties:  Hossler grew up in Mission Viejo, California and attended Texas.

Odds: Higher than expected but still considered a longshot.

Ben An (+5000)

Form:  OK Ben An.  I forgive you for missing that five-footer in the playoff that cost us a +4000 win in Hawaii.  I hope you’re more determined than ever this week. An also has a fourth-place finish at The Sentry.

Horse for course:  Only two starts here. Last year, he finished T37 but had a respectable T16 in 2019 at the US Open.

Stats: An is off to a good start this year. He ranks 12th in total driving, 11th in driving distance, 40th in GIR, 10th in putting average, ninth in putts per round, second in scoring average, second in par four scoring and fifth in birdie average.

Local Ties:  Although from South Korea, An went to Cal Berkeley.

Odds: Sneaky good odds here. When we picked him two weeks ago, his odds were only +4000.

Nick Taylor (+9000)

Form:  Last week DNP. Mixed bag thus far. Missed the cut at The Amex, tied for seventh at the Sony and tied for 52nd at the Sentry.

Horse for course:  I wonder how many people knew that Taylor won this event in 2020? He’s got two other top 15s and a top 20. 

Stats: Taylor ranks 17th in the important GIR category and ranks first in putts from 10 feet, four feet, and three feet. He ranks 23rd in total putting but only 165th in total driving.

Local Ties:  The current Canadian Open champ hails from Canada but has some West Coast ties as he attended the University of Washington.

Odds: Pretty good longshot/sleeper odds for a big event winner and you can get him at +700 for a top 10 finish.

Last Man Out

Matt Fitzpatrick (+3300)

(Long)shot in the Dark Picks

Brandon Todd (+9000)

The first thing that stuck out when researching longshots was his recent success at Pebble.  Last year he finished tied for second and had a t16 in 2022. 

He’s played well early but has faltered on the weekends. He got to play in his first Sentry and finished t33 and has a t30 at the Sony. Known for his driving accuracy, he ranks 13th this year and ranks 13th in putts per round and 18th in scoring average.

Tom Hoge (+10000)

Yet another surprise winner here. 

Hoge pulled off the W in 2022 and finished 12th in 2021. So far this year, Hoge has one top 20 at the Amex. 

He ranks 27th in strokes gained on approaches to the green which will come in handy this week with Pebble’s small greens.  His putting average is decent at 42nd.  If he can improve that this week, who knows?

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.