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Make your case: Can anyone catch Justin Rose at Pebble Beach?

5 Min Read

Draws and Fades

Make your case: Can anyone catch Justin Rose at Pebble Beach?

    Justin Rose's impressive fairway bunker shot and eagle at AT&T Pebble Beach

    It took the better part of four days, but we finally have a clear leader at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

    A format that already included a three-course rotation was further complicated by a weather delay Saturday, meaning that the final round will spill into Monday morning along the Monterey Peninsula. Three different players led after the first three days, although the overnight betting favorite remained the same: Keith Mitchell, despite the fact that he was not among those that slept on the lead.

    Now the tournament leader and betting favorite have converged, and those still returning to Pebble Beach Golf Links Monday morning are all chasing Justin Rose.

    The Englishman hasn’t won on the PGA TOUR since the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, at which point he was ranked No. 1 in the world. He teed off this week ranked 71st. But he has benefited from a few good breaks this week, including an ace during his round at Spyglass Hill, and he roared out to the lead Sunday afternoon thanks to a 20-minute stretch that included an eagle on No. 6 and a birdie on No. 7.

    Priced at +2100 when the sun rose Sunday, a long but productive day trimmed Rose’s odds to -175 and made it clear that this tournament is within his grasp, up by two with nine holes to go.

    Updated odds via BetMGM (Round 4 to resume Monday morning)

    -175: Justin Rose

    +400: Brendon Todd

    +900: Peter Malnati

    +1000: Denny McCarthy

    +1800: Keith Mitchell

    +2000: Beau Hossler

    The final group will return to No. 10 in the morning, while others have fewer holes remaining. Let’s examine the case for (and against) those still left with a viable path to victory:

    Justin Rose (-15 through 9 holes)

    For: He’s once again playing like a former major champion and world No. 1. Rose has gone through a thin period in recent months, but there’s no doubting that he knows what it takes to win – especially at a major-caliber track like Pebble that can take some methodical plans and approach. He broke free from a crowded leaderboard with that birdie-eagle combo and now can play defense over the final nine holes and see who is able to apply pressure. With a two-shot cushion, most of the hard work is behind him.

    Against: Just take a gander at how much the standings have jostled this weekend to realize how quickly two shots can disappear. Rose has gotten a few good breaks, which you sometimes need, but while he may have been glad to see play halted amid gusty breezes Saturday night, he probably would’ve preferred to play until midnight on Sunday. Whether he’s able to retain his momentum into a new day could be a big TBD.

    Brendon Todd (-13 through 12 holes)

    For: The tidy span of 7’7” may help determine whether Todd can put a charge into this event. That’s the putt for birdie he’ll face on No. 13 in the morning, a stroke that could bring him within a shot of the lead. Todd plays some of his best on target tracks, having won in Bermuda and Mayakoba, and Pebble certainly fits the bill. If he starts the day with a circle, he could post a number and see if Rose falters.

    Against: He’s running out of holes. Even if he sinks the birdie on No. 13, Todd will only have five more birdie opportunities in what could be some chilly conditions. The extra stretch Rose faces isn’t exactly filled with birdie chances, but it could be an asset for the leader if he needs it given the pressure will be on those behind him.

    Peter Malnati (-13 through nine holes)

    For: Malnati hit one of the shots of the tournament on No. 1 Sunday, escaping from the trees to turn a potential double bogey into an improbable birdie. He’s already up near the green on No. 10, while Rose opted to wait to hit his approach shot until the morning. Malnati is playing with house money at this point and has the added benefit of both a few extra holes and playing alongside Rose to keep the tournament leader in his sights.

    Against: Malnati’s momentum may have already crested. Having made the most of blustery conditions Saturday, he seemed to be hanging on for dear life Sunday evening along Pebble’s coastal stretch. He’s unlikely to birdie No. 10, meaning he could be spotting Rose two shots over the final eight holes – not inconceivable, but certainly a tall task.

    Denny McCarthy (-13 through 15 holes)

    For: No one played better than McCarthy on Sunday. After starting the day as a +15000 longshot, he went out in 29 and birdied eight of his first 11 holes to briefly share the lead. Long known as one of the TOUR’s best putters, he’ll face a 15-footer for birdie on No. 16 on fresh greens in the morning. Roll that in, add another on the home hole and post 15 under…stranger things have happened.

    Against: Even more so than Todd, McCarthy is just out of holes. Yes, closing with two birdies in his last three could give the leaders something to look at coming down the stretch. But it might require McCarthy himself to trot out a wind tunnel to spice up the conditions enough to make sure those with 4-6 extra holes behind him can’t match that total.

    Keith Mitchell (-12 through 10 holes)

    For: Tasked with a short birdie chip on No. 11 in the morning, he’ll have the benefit of some extra holes to try to pass the group at -13 and potentially catch Rose. His short game has been nothing short of sublime this week, and he’ll need more of it to make a charge.

    Against: Mitchell was the overnight betting favorite through each of the first three days, but he couldn’t quite get it in gear Sunday afternoon. He failed to convert a number of viable birdie opportunities from Nos. 3-7 while falling off the pace, and now will have to press.

    *Odds sourced from BetMGM at 9:00p.m. ET Sunday

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