6th - 9th February
The 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (6-9 February) is this week’s PGA Tour event and this schedule regular offer punters lots of past form to scrutinize.
This is a Pro-Am that features a lot of the top pros as well as a host of top celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, sports, and business. Because of this, the tournament takes place over three courses over the first three days including the Pebble Beach Links, which we last saw being used for the 2019 US Open.
The other two courses are the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club and the Spyglass Hill Golf Club. All three courses measure less than sub-7,000 yards, and scoring is usually good unless the weather is brutal.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am isn’t for everyone and the absence of Brooks Koepka, John Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Tiger Woods means Dustin Johnson is the only one of the world’s top-six playing this week.
Johnson has a remarkable record in the event, having won it twice in the early part of his career, and the only surprising thing is he’s not won it again since. His last nine appearances at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am have produced five top-5 finishes and this relaxed character tends to be completely unflustered by the slow rounds and having to deal with celebrities both asking him questions and taking the spotlight.
Johnson comes into the event in decent form, having gone close to defending last year’s win in Saudi Arabia. But the big question is do you want to take 13/2 (7.50 and drying up all the time) about a player that hasn’t won this event for 10 years?
Despite passing on Johnson at the price, it’s easier to make a case for him than his nearest market rival Patrick Cantlay, who hasn’t really taken to this event in a trio of previous tries. Paul Casey appeals more having finished eighth and second in the last two editions, whilst he’s been a model of consistency for a while now. He’s also discovered the winning habit again in the last couple of seasons and I can see him going well this week when there are lots of other people to keep him out of the flash of the Paparazzi’s cameras. That’s why Casey is the first of this week’s 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am free tips.
Two players that have gone well here several times in the past are Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day and their performances at Torrey Pines two weeks ago suggested they’re both capable of going well this week. Day is arguably the better of the two at his best but his motivation to make the most of his undoubted talents remains in question. That means Snedeker is the second of our free tips for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2020.
The biggest course specialist in this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am field is Phil Mickelson and the 49-year-old isn’t talking like a player that’s ready to take up his offer to play on the Champions Tour next season. He’s noticeably lost a lot of weight for the start of this year and his enthusiasm is a shining example that some of the younger players could do to follow. Phil the Thrill has finished first and second in the last two editions of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and, if last week’s third in Saudi Arabia hasn’t drained him, he could give us another run for our money.
Last week’s winner in Saudi Arabia Graeme McDowell has the memory of winning the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach but his re-entry into the world’s top-50 may have made him celebrate in style on Sunday night. It’s not hard to see him taking his foot off the gas this week as he regales his playing partners with memories of his only major win and last week’s triumph.
That’s why this week’s final free tip for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am goes to Branden Grace. The South African doesn’t have the luxury of a spot in the world’s top-50 but is playing to a level that suggests he wants to be before the cut-off for this year’s US Masters. He’s finished 20th and 28th in his two previous tries in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and has also won the Dunhill Links Pro-Am in Scotland in the past.