2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Preview and DFS Picks
2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am DFS Picks
Course(s): Pebble Beach (Pebble Beach, CA)
Yardage: 6816 - Par 72 (PB)
6953 - Par 72 (SH)
6958 - Par 71 (MP)
Purse: $7.4 million
Field: 156 players
Recent AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Champions
Waste Management Phoenix Open Recap
I hope you’re at least turning the golf on in the late afternoon/evening on Sundays because for the fourth straight week the Tour has finished with a playoff. This week it was Gary Woodland and Chez Reavie who had to play a 73rd hole to crown a champion at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Woodland finished with birdies on 15, 16, and 17, while Reavie birdied his final two holes. Reavie sank an incredible 20-footer on the 18th to force a playoff. It was Woodland who came away with the victory, making a par on the first playoff hole. Reavie missed the green and left his third shot 11 feet away. Woodland was crowned champion for the third time in his career, and his first since 2013 at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Pebble Beach Pro-Am Preview
Following the raucous festivities in Phoenix, the Tour heads to the famed Pebble Beach for one of the most fun tournaments to view on TV. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is the one tournament in which golfers play alongside celebrities for all four rounds. (Generally, pro-ams are played between Monday-Wednesday) Bill Murray always steals the show with his antics, but there are plenty of other big names, some of whom have an impressive golf game. Some notables this year are Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Wayne Gretzky always tees it up with his son-in-law Dustin Johnson, Justin Timberlake, Ray Romano, Kenny G, Alfonso Ribeiro, Larry Fitzgerald, and of course the former gunslinger turned CBS analyst, Tony Romo.
Here's what celebrities will be playing in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this year. https://t.co/rVykLHasgi
— GOLF.com (@golf_com) February 6, 2018
As far as DFS picks go, the PGA players themselves will play a regular individual stroke-play tournament. The celebrities will be using their handicap to play a best-ball team format with their professional. Here’s where the celebrities throw a little wrench into things. Instead of a 36-hole cut, they play a 54-hole cut. So, everyone will be playing a minimum of three rounds of golf. However, instead of the Top 70 and ties, to make the cut you must be within the Top 60 and ties. The players who’ve been cut between 61 and 70 will be awarded FedEx Cup points and cash, but they will be listed as MDF (made-cut did not finish). So, as far as daily fantasy goes, finishing there does not help us. Also, something to remember is this is another tournament in which the players will be rotating around three courses. The first three days everyone will rotate between Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Monterey Peninsula. The final round players and celebrities who’ve made the cut will play Pebble for a second time.
Who’s out there this week from the golf world? We’ll start with eighth world ranked golfer Rory McIlroy. McIlroy will be making his first ever start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM, and his first PGA Tour start since the 2017 FedEx Cup Playoffs. A good mix of established vets and young guns will inhabit the oceanside courses this week. In the established vets corner Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker, Branden Grace, Russell Henley, Bubba Watson, Charley Hoffman, J.B Holmes, Billy Horschel, Pat Perez, Kevin Kisner, and returning after last week’s playoff-finish are both Gary Woodland and Chez Reavie. In our young guns corner, we have Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed, Austin Cook, Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch, Grayson Murray, Beau Hossler and Aaron Wise. So, there’s plenty of talent to choose from. The question is, who will thrive with a celebrity by their side all week?
As mentioned before, the players will be making their way around three different courses before heading back to Pebble for the final round. The 54-hole cut format means that you should be targeting players who can rack up the birdies. Ideally, you want all your guys to make the cut but aiming for players who rank high in birdie or better % is a solid strategy. If they can’t make the cut, dropping 15 birdies will certainly help your DFS score. All three courses are under 7,000 yards, making them among the shortest on Tour. The typical winner here has a stellar wedge game since most shots will be coming in from within 120 yards. Common stat ranges to look at are approach proximity 75-100 and 100-125 yards.
The short and narrow tracks have most players leaving their driver in the bag, resulting in more accuracy off-the-tee across the board. This tournament is about the wedge and short game. The greens are tiny and constantly rank as one of the hardest to hole putts on. Look at players who get around the greens well with Strokes gained: around-the-green. Distance is always helpful, but this week the short courses neutralize the long-hitters advantage. If you can find a bomber with a soft touch around the greens, go for it. The only advantage long-hitters have this week is the fact that they’ll have almost a full appetite of Par 5s. However, Par 5 scoring is more important than driving distance.
Birdie or Better %
Approach Proximity 75-100 yards
Approach Proximity 100-125 yards
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Par 5 scoring
DFS Golf Picks on DraftKings
Jason Day ($10,900)
Jason Day is officially back after winning the Farmer’s Insurance Open two weeks ago. He proved he’s ready for the big moments again by knocking off Ryan Palmer and Alex Noren in six holes worth of playoffs. Day loves playing this event. His last three times here he’s finished 5th, 11th, and 4th. If you watched those playoff holes at Torrey Pines, you saw how deadly Day is from 100-125 yards. He ranks fifth in approach proximity from that length this year, eighth in birdie %, and 28th in strokes gained: around the green. Day should keep his hot start to 2018 going.
Kevin Kisner ($8,200)
Kevin Kisner is a man with no weaknesses. Kisner ranks Top 25 in the field in Par 5 scoring, birdie or better %, and approach proximity from 75-100 yards, and 100-125 yards. Kisner finished in 10th place in this event as well, so he checks all the boxes you want from him. The South Carolina native is very used to playing oceanside courses; it’s just usually a different ocean next to him.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,100)
Snedeker has been slowly but surely regaining his form. At $8,100, I love his value. This is, by far, Sneddy’s best event on Tour. He’s won the event two times, 2013 and 2015, and placed fourth in 2017. Sneddy is known as a short-game master. He ranks 10th on Tour in strokes gained: around the green and he’s within the Top 25 in the field from 75-100 yards out. I’m looking for Snedeker to fully regain form this week in his third event of 2018.
Chez Reavie ($8,000)
Reavie has quietly been the most consistent player on Tour this year. He’s been piling up the Top 25s, and nearly cashed in with a win last week. Two years ago, Reavie was sixth heading into the final day at Pebble, but a 77 derailed his solid week. Reavie is far too consistent for that kind of meltdown this season. He’s a first round beast this season, with 69 being his worst Thursday round. Overall, he hasn’t shot worse than 74 in any of his 32 competitive rounds.
Patrick Reed ($7,900)
Patrick Reed fans are still waiting for him to return to his old form, when he was winning tournaments and wagging his finger at Rory McIlroy in the Ryder Cup. Perhaps the site of Rory McIlroy will get his juices pumping. This event plays to Reed’s strengths. He’s seventh in strokes gained: around-the-green, and eighth in approach proximity 100-125 yards this season, and he should see a lot of approaches from that distance. Reed finished inside the Top 30 in 2015 and 2017 here, and T6 in 2016, so he’s certainly comfortable on these tracks.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($6,900)
Rafa Cabrera-Bello has been making his way around the Euro Tour as of late and playing well, I might add. Cabrera-Bello’s biggest weakness, driving accuracy, is taken away at this course. Cabrera-Bello can put the driver in his bag for most holes and hit an iron or fairway wood to keep his ball in play. From there, he should have no problem sticking his wedges and short irons onto greens. He may not be super familiar with the courses, but Cabrera-Bello is ranked number 21 in the world. You don’t get ranked that high without figuring out some courses that you don’t play as often.
Jason Day Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gregory Bull
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