Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PGA TOUR 2021: AT&T Pebble Beach Golf Links

PGA TOUR 2021: AT&T Pebble Beach Golf Links

 
This week the tour ventures to one of the most picturesque and iconic patches of grass in the entire golfing world: Pebble Beach.  Ok, you too Spyglass Hill.  This year’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am will be drastically different from the typical layout.  Firstly, the Pro-Am aspect has been sensibly scrapped due to Covid concerns. This, in reality, only makes it a more inviting experience for the spectator.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2021 European Tour  | AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
11th-14th February 
Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Club, California, USA

Furthermore, Monterey Peninsula Country Club has been scrapped as a venue this year.  Players will alternate between Spyglass and Pebble for the first two rounds, with the weekend solely dedicated to the rugged beauty of Pebble Beach.  This will also mark the 75th anniversary of this iconic event.  World Number One Dustin Johnson has unfortunately chosen to withdraw after his victory in Saudi Arabia last week.  It’s a pity, because this isn’t exactly the most electrifying field ever: many seem to be looking to Riviera next week.  

What is there to be said about Pebble Beach that hasn’t been said already?  Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, this masterwork was opened in 1919.  In has undergone many renovations since.  This seaside links is one of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour.  It’s also fairly lenient from the tee.  The issue comes with the small Poa Annua greens, an iconic test of precision iron-play and course management.  Players may also need to handle extremely blustery conditions- which should favour the links specialists.  Spyglass Hill is actually quite a different test.  It is a tree-lined venue, meaning the course is less exposed and wind-affected.  The greens will be easier to attack and the scoring should be lower.

As noted earlier, this is hardly a Major Championship field.  California native Patrick Cantlay has shot up to favourite status following Dustin Johnson’s withdrawal.  Daniel Berger is just behind Cantlay while Paul Casey cannot be discounted following his recent Asian victory.  Phil Mickelson has an awe-inspiring record at Pebble Beach.  He has won this event on five occasions and finished runner-up twice.  Other players with decent Pebble Beach form are Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.  Spieth played some excellent golf at TPC Scottsdale, threatening to return to his Major Championship winning form.  Former Open Champion Francesco Molinari is an interesting dark horse this week.  He loves these tricky, wind-affected tests.  He also seems to be slowly recovering his mojo following that 2019 collapse at Augusta.  I wish it had a few more more big names, but the beauty of Pebble Beach more than makes up for that. 

Past Winners
2020: Nick Taylor (-19)
2019: Phil Mickelson (-19)
2018: Ted Potter Jr. (-17)
2017: Jordan Spieth (-19)
2016: Vaughan Taylor (-17)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Patrick Cantlay (7/1)
Daniel Berger (14/1)
Paul Casey (16/1)
Will Zalatoris (18/1) 
Jason Day (18/1)

Value Bets

Francesco Molinari- To Win (22/1), To Place (48/10)
With his two recent top 10 performances, are we perhaps seeing the resurgence of Francesco Molinari?  Lest we forget, there was a stretch where he was probably the best player in the world.  His 10th place at the Farmers is of particular interest, as it showed his ability to putt well on Poa Annua surfaces.  As a former Open Champion, Molinari knows how to handle blustery conditions should they arise.  One negative is that he is a debutant.  Currently ranked 5th for SG: Tee to Green and 15th for SG: Approach, Molinari could be primed for success here.  

Peter Malnati- To Win (60/1), To Place (13/1)
Malnati is a regular in this event, finishing in a tie for 11th here last season.  He could be a great dark horse in the place markets (in what is a slightly whittled-down field).  He has been consistent on tour this season, with five top 25 finishes from ten starts.  He last appearance was a tie for 10th at a more star-studded Farmers Insurance Open.  He currently sits 8th on tour for Birdie Average and 4th for SG: Putting.  The thing that makes him ideal for this test are his short-game credentials.  The forgiving conditions from the tee should suit Malnati this week.

The Man to Beat

Victor Perez
Jordan Spieth- To Win (22/1), To Place (48/10)
It just has to be Spieth after last week.  The way Spieth has dropped off over the past few years has been extraordinary.  Even his putting- usually the bastion of his game- seemed to falter.  But let’s not forget that this is a three-time Major winner and former FedEx Cup winner.  Spieth looked back to somewhere resembling his best last week, ultimately finishing in a tie for 4th: he entered the final round tied for the lead.  He is a short-game master who thrives on cerebral courses.  And the cherry on top…. he won this event in 2017.  Spieth looks great at 22/1 considering the field.

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