February 6 2013
Dustin Johnson is a two-time winner at Pebble Beach. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Insider
This week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am features five of the top seven in all-time earnings at the event, but my choice for a one-and-done is easy.
Two-time winner Dustin Johnson sits third in all-time earnings here. It's also the tournament where he pocketed the most money over any other. With another two top 10s and a spirited run at Pebble Beach at the 2010 U.S. Open, he's a no-brainer of an investment and thus my choice this week.
You could make an argument that his recent form and budding romance with Paulina Gretzky are distractions, but I'll contend that it's a positive that his amateur partner this week is Paulina's father, Wayne. That dynamic should offer for a relaxed environment at a site where Johnson is already comfortable.
Others to consider:
With four wins and $4.584 million in earnings, Phil Mickelson owns a commanding lead over Vijay Singh in second place on that list. I've always advised to save Mickelson for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola (or the Masters if you just don't want to wait or roll the dice in the postseason due to the vagaries of the FedExCup Playoffs). So, I'm holstering the 2012 winner of this tournament even though I allow myself to burn one defending champ during the course of the season.
Singh's reported back injury and situation as it relates to deer antler spray scare me. We can't rule out him contending, but one-and-done selections must be handled with care.
Mike Weir (fifth) and D.A. Points (seventh) round out the final two inside the top seven in all-time earnings. After that duo, you need to dig down to No. 13 to find the next on the list in this week's field, Hunter Mahan. He also makes some sense this week but historically he's flashed more consistency at warm-weather sites. Mahan is also a guy that you could reserve for East Lake.
Last week: Rickie Fowler; MC; $0.00
Overall Record: 4-for-5
Top 5s: 2
Top 10s: 3
Top 25s: 4
Missed Cuts: 1