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20D AGO

Draws & Fades: Trust Wyndham Clark's putter, irons to carry him to victory at Pebble Beach

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Draws and Fades

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    Written by Keith Stewart @KJStewartpga

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Wyndham Clark blew away the field on a calm scoring Saturday at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The current U.S. Open champion must feel at home in the Golden State. His 12-under 60 claimed the course record and was three better than Jason Day’s 63, the second-best scorecard of the day.

    Over his last 36 holes at Pebble Beach, Clark is a staggering 17-under on the iconic course and leading the second Signature Event of the 2024 season by one stroke.

    Looking ahead to Sunday’s final round, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is what the weather will do. Forecasts are predicting sustained winds along the Carmel coast at over 30 mph and gusts around 50! Should that prediction pan out, golf on Sunday will be near impossible. Adding a potential Monday finish to the outright implications only compounds the difficulty of predicting the winner.

    Here are the updated odds to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am via BetMGM Sportsbook:

    • +200 Wyndham Clark (-17, 1st)
    • +225 Ludvig Åberg (-16, 2nd)
    • +800 Matthieu Pavon (-15, 3rd)
    • +1100 Scottie Scheffler (-13, T6)
    • +1200 Justin Thomas (-13, T6)
    • +1600 Thomas Detry (-14, T4)
    • +1800 Mark Hubbard (-14, T4)
    • +2500 Jason Day (-13, T6)

    Right behind our leader Clark, we find Ludvig Åberg and three more players; two and three strokes behind the leader. Through three rounds our top five players are separating from this first-class field with solid Poa putting and radar-like approach. That makes perfect sense when you consider the soft conditions, and the fact that our last 10 champions also gained the most strokes with their iron game and flatstick en route to winning the AT&T Pebble Beach.

    As I draw up my betting card for the final round here are my favorites along with those who I believe might get blown down the leaderboard.

    DRAWS

    Wyndham Clark (+200)

    Favoring the favorite has not been a great play over the past four weeks on the PGA TOUR. The day after firing a course record 60, Clark is sure to fade a little. Sure, I can quote he is leading with the putter gaining over three strokes on the field. His iron game isn’t bad either ranking 22nd on approach gaining another near stroke.

    A stronger consideration than strokes gained might be Mother Nature. The chances of weather limiting this event to 54 holes is significant. If you have the lead before the waves begin to crash the shoreline, your chances of keeping it are very good. I don’t envy tournament officials who have to make that call, but I’m quite sure those trailing Clark might end up jealous of him.

    Mark Hubbard (+1800)

    Sometimes the trend is your friend. Of those at the top, Hubbard held the highest pre-tournament odds to start the week at +22500. Each of our four winners this season have had odds over +14000 to start the week they won. If this truly is the year of longshots, then Hubbard fits the mold.

    He also fits based on performance. Much like Clark, Hubbard’s putter is ranked second in the field for strokes gained. The Colorado native probably feels right at home for two reasons. First, the weather, and second, he got married here at Pebble Beach. The approach game is good enough to get it done too. Saturday, he gained almost two strokes on the field attacking the greens. That putter-approach complement is the key to capturing the title on the Monterey Peninsula.

    FADES

    Matthieu Pavon (+800)

    Pavon’s stretch of stellar play reaches back to the Sony Open in Hawaii where he finished seventh. A longshot winner at the Farmers Insurance Open a week ago, it seems impossible for Pavon to pull it off again against this Signature Event field. Winning on the PGA TOUR once is a lifetime achievement, back-to-back for a first-time winner from France; unimaginable.

    Pavon is the only player in the top five losing strokes around the green. If we play under challenging conditions, then everyone will need to save par with their short game. Pebble Beach has the smallest greens on the TOUR. Pavon will miss more than a few putting surfaces on a stormy Sunday (or Monday). When that happens, he loses an edge to the top tier and therefore becomes a fade.

    Thomas Detry (+1600)

    Detry is a hot commodity every Thursday when those “First-Round Leader” bets are being placed. His 63 earlier this week on the tough Spyglass Hill Golf Course only bolsters his first-day scoring average which is ranked fifth on TOUR. Detry is excellent off the tee and with his putter. He can go low at a moment’s notice and tends to play aggressively trending to early leads.

    Unfortunately, Detry backers also know another storyline. The DP World Tour transfer tends to fade in the final round. He’s ranked 135th in this short season. If that’s not a large enough sample size, Detry closed out the 2022-23 campaign ranked 114th in Round 4 Scoring. That ranking was based upon his performance in 22 events. This final round is going to be challenging. Taking Detry to close it out would be going against my wagering wisdom.

    Keith Stewart is a five-time award winning PGA Professional who covers the PGA TOUR and LPGA from a betting perspective. Founder of Read The Line, he is also published by Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News. Follow Keith Stewart on Twitter.

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