The PGA Tour looks to follow an amazing tournament at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix with another entertaining event, and what better place to do it than famed Pebble Beach on the Monterrey Peninsula in California. Similar to the American Express a couple weeks ago, Pebble will be trimming the cutline from 54 holes to 36. The tournament is also going from three courses to two courses, leaving Monterrey Peninsula out this year in favor of Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill.
Course Breakdown and Weather:
Each golfer will play both Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill in the first two rounds before the weekend shifts exclusively over to Pebble. Scoring at both courses is typically easy with them both measuring out to 7,000 yards as par-72s, making them two of the shortest courses on the Tour. Distance off the tee does not typically have a factor here due to the short nature of both courses. Instead, elite iron players tend to find success here.
— AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (@attproam) February 10, 2021
With light rain expected on Thursday, an advantage will be given to those playing at Spyglass Hill because it has more trees to break up the wind, which is the major contributing factor that can lead to higher scores at Pebble Beach. There is potential for showers on Saturday, but with all golfers playing the same course by the weekend it should not have of an effect beyond a possible hour-long delay.
The favorite was Dustin Johnson (+400), but on Monday he withdrew his name from the field following a win on the European Tour, opening up the possibilities for a myriad of other contenders. The favorite now is Patrick Cantlay (+700), who shot a final round 61 in his last event when he lost the American Express by one shot. Cantlay has made the cut here on four occasions but does not have a top five and at odds that short he is not worth a play.
Daniel Berger (+1400) is next and with him fresh off a missed cut in Phoenix there is no reason to bet on him, either. Paul Casey (+1600), Will Zalatoris (+1800), Jason Day (+1800), Jordan Speith (+2000), and Francesco Molinari (+2200) round out the rest of the golfers sporting under 30-1 odds. The trendy play this week will be Speith because of the electrifying 61 he posted last Saturday to get in contention at the Waste Management Open.
While that is not a terrible play as Speith’s struggling game finally appears to be rounding into shape, the better guy to target in this range in Francesco Molinari at 22-1. Molinari is fresh off back-to-back top-10 finishes, including one at Torrey Pines. It appears that he has regained some of his peak form in recent weeks for the first time since the 2019 Masters collapse, so get him now before his odds shrink the rest of the season.
Best Value Plays
While the middle tier has not had much success here in years past, the field is a little light up top which could lead to a break in the mold for this event. The first name that is worth a bet in this range is Max Homa (+3300), who has played really well golf for the past three events but just has been unable to put a win away. Homa has an opportunity against a weaker field to perhaps play more cool, calm and collected if he can climb into contention again this weekend.
The next golfer to take is Harold Varner III (+6500) who bounced back from a missed cut at Torrey Pines with a 13th place finish last week at the Waste Management Open. According to PGATOUR.com, Varner finished second in shots gained on approach last week.
That bodes well for a place like Pebble Beach, where consistent on-target approach shots are possible and paramount. It remains only a matter of time before Varner, one of the Tour’s top ball strikers, breaks through for a win.
The longshot invest in is three-time Tour winner Scott Stallings at +8000. Stallings is one of the more fit golfers on the Tour, so it is a common misconception that he thrives at courses that require distance. That actually could not be further from the truth. He tends to find success at courses where he can club down, as evidenced by the fact that over the past two years he has collected five top 10s at shorter courses and one of those came right here at Pebble Beach. Stallings knows what it takes to win on a Sunday better than most guys in this range and with a solid showing at the Waste Management, he is worth a flyer at 80-1.
Matchups and a Top-10 Play
The first matchup play to bet is Kevin Streelman (-105) over Si Woo Kim. Although Kim collected a great win at the American Express three weeks ago, that victory has led to inflation from the oddsmakers. Streelman at Pebble Beach is a dream spot to get his 2021 back on track. Streelman is one of the shorter hitters on Tour, so he benefits from the course designs at Peeble and Spyglass Hill. Streelman is more than familiar with Pebble Beach and with the increase from two to three days on the historic course this season, it hands him an advantage.
The second matchup of the week to jump on is Cameron Davis (-115) over Sam Burns. Davis has built confidence over the past month, collecting one top-five finish and two top-35 finishes. Davis tends to have success against weaker fields and this tournament provides a perfect opportunity for him to be in the top fourth of the field. Meanwhile, Burns finished tied for 22nd last weekend, but upon further examination it was fool’s gold. Burns consistently found himself in trouble at the Waste Management due to poor iron play and seemed to bail himself out constantly with the putter. Expect some regression from Burns this tournament because of the demands the courses place on premium iron play. Take the safe play of Davis to beat Burns straight up to ensure you will make money off it.
The top-10 play of the week is Andrew Putnam at +650. Putnam is fresh off a week in which he had zero bogeys in 72 holes, good enough to tie for seventh at the Waste Management Open. Putnam is a West Coast native so he should be familiar with the poa annua greens that are common in that region, plus simply with the way this guy is playing golf right now he is worth a shot for a top ten at the odds that are available.