DraftKings preview: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
February 03, 2020
By Reid Fowler, Special, PGATOUR.COM
- February 03, 2020
Daily Fantasy preview for AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Stars from all over will descend on the Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. It joins The American Express as the only tournaments this season to be played across multiple courses. Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Country Club and Pebble Beach Golf Links will be used this week. Both Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach will play as par-72s. Pebble Beach measures 6,816 yards and Spyglass Hill is 7,035 yards. Monterey Peninsula will play as a 6,958-yard, par-71. All three courses have poa annua greens.
The field will consist of stars like Jason Day and Patrick Cantlay along with course horses Dustin Johnson and defending champion Phil Mickelson, who’ve combined for seven wins over the past 22 years. They’ll be joined by celebrities like Bill Murray, Chris O’Donnell and Alfonso Ribeiro, as well as former and current NFL players like Larry Fitzgerald, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Peyton Manning. There will be 156 professional golfers and the same number of amateurs teeing it up in Northern California this week.
Similar to The American Express, all golfers will play one round apiece at the three courses. After the 54-hole cut, the final round will be played on the historic Pebble Beach Golf Links. Of the 49 tournaments played last season, all courses here ranked in the top half of difficulty in scoring relative to par. Monterey Peninsula ranked the easiest, coming in at 22nd, with Pebble Beach playing the hardest, ranking 12th. Pebble Beach has played host to many tournaments in the past like the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Amateur and Nabisco Championship, but Pebble Beach has been synonymous with this tournament since 1947.
Although the three courses are similar in length and layout, the weather plays a huge factor in scoring if the winds decide to pick up. With nine holes set along the Carmel Bay, the tournament’s difficulty can shift year-to-year. Back in 2014, Pebble Beach played as the seventh-most difficult in scoring with extremely windy conditions. The following year it played as the eighth easiest with virtually no wind at all. Even though we only get ShotLink data from Pebble Beach, the priority metric to focus when building lineups is Strokes Gained: Approach into these greens, which are some of the smallest on TOUR. Proximity from 100-to-125 yards is another metric we should be focusing on at this tournament with a large number of iron shots being hit from this distance. Other key stats are Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green and par-4 efficiency between 350 to 400 yards.
Dustin Johnson ($11,600)
Coming off a second-place finish in the Middle East, Johnson comes back to Carmel Bay ready to get back in the winner’s circle. Length is not needed on any of the three courses, especially not his type of distance. What’s going to help and what has made him successful here is his wedge play. He’s gained in proximity from 100 to 125 yards in three of his past four tournaments here and ranks first in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his past 24 rounds at this event.
Brandt Snedeker ($10,100)
Another course-history play is Snedeker, who loves playing in California, especially on poa annua greens, ranking sixth in Strokes Gained: Putting over the past 50 rounds on the aforementioned surface. Don’t worry about his missed cut last season. Snedeker’s won four times between this tournament and the Farmers Insurance Open, along with a T8 at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and T9 in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. He’s hitting his irons well and doesn’t have to worry about his lack of length at Pebble Beach, which is why he ranks sixth in Strokes Gained: Total here since 2015.
Kevin Kisner ($8,500)
Kisner is another strong poa annua putter poised to have a solid week in Monterey. Kisner ranks 15th in Strokes Gained: Putting on poa annua greens over the past 50 rounds, but it’s not just his long-form poa putting that should make him successful. It’s also his ball-striking. He ranks 22nd in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and just inside the top 20 in Par-4 Efficiency on holes 350 to 400 yards over his past three tournaments. Hopefully we get Kisner at low ownership with his missed cut at The American Express last month along with being so closely priced to Russell Knox ($8,600), who’s playing fantastic golf.
Nick Watney ($7,300)
Watney will need to work on his putting this week, but he’s been able to play relatively well by gaining through his ball-striking in three of his past four tournaments. Watney ranks top 10 in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and just inside the top 20 in proximity from 100 to 125 yards over his past three tournaments.
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ABOUT THE WRITER: I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is reidtfowler) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.