It’s time for one of the more fun events of the PGA Tour season. The Pebble Beach Pro-Am is set to kick off on Thursday from California, though the event will look very different than it has the last few years. There will be no amateurs in the field due to COVID-19 concerns, meaning there’s no need for the three-course rotation. Even still, this fairly good field took a hit earlier in the week when Dustin Johnson withdrew. That shouldn’t take much away, however, because the course will be the true star of this event — the way it probably should be.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s contest, with odds and prop bets provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
What: Pebble Beach Pro-Am
When: Feb. 11-14
Where: Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Club — Pebble Beach, California
Three things to know
1. Spieth, Spieth, Spieth: With D.J.’s scratch, Spieth has become the singular headliner in this field because of what he did last week (T4) and what he’s done here in the past (won in 2017). He will once again be under the microscope in a way he was sort of slipping away from over the past few months. Though we will not be able to tell what his trajectory for weeks or months, a two-tournament trend will feel (and will be) a lot more substantial than just a magical week in Phoenix.
2. Any letdown? Pebble is in a weird spot these days. It provides a natural break before Riviera and the Genesis Invitational next week (massive event), which leads into the Florida portion of the schedule and on into the Masters. It’s also going to feel like a bit of a letdown as it relates to fans given how much fun (and how relatively crowded) last week’s Phoenix Open was. The result is a field strength of 194, which is akin to the 3M Open or Sanderson Farms Championship. That’s unfortunate, especially with it being more alluring with no six-hour rounds, but it does provide opportunity for the Will Zalatoris’ and Sam Burns’ of the world to go get that win they’ve been sniffing for a while.
3. Masters invites: We are just eight weeks (!) from the 2021 Masters, and a win here will get somebody (if they’re not already qualified) into the first major of 2021. Rickie Fowler is among those not already qualified for Augusta, and he’s also in this field following a disappointing missed cut in Phoenix. The unintentional benefit of removing a player (D.J.) who had a 25 percent chance of winning the tournament is that you open up a life-changing door even wider to the rest of the field.
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Grading the field
Even though D.J. is out, there are still some nice names and some young studs to keep an eye on. The headliners here are Paul Casey, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Daniel Berger, Jason Day and Will Zalatoris. But I’m maybe more interested in a crew that includes Akshay Bhatia, Sam Burns, Andy Ogletree, and Maverick McNealy. They’re all part of that crowd that can really pop with some of the bigger stars absent from the field this week. Grade: C
Pebble Beach Pro-Am picks
Who wins the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am? And which long shots should you back? Visit SportsLine to see the projected leaderboard, all from the projection model that’s nailed six golf majors and is up almost $11,000 since the restart.