Pebble Beach. A course that players love to play and that is why it attracts some of golfs biggest names each year. This year is no different with last weeks winner and runner up Phil Mickelson & Brandt Snedeker, and two time winner Dustin Johnson headlining the event. It will come as no surprise that these three players occupy the top three spots in the betting not only down to their ability but in Mickelson and Johnson’s case they are both multiple winners winning (4) and (2) respectively. Each of the three players are also bringing form to the course this week with Phil just off of his win at the Waste Management last week along with Snedeker who since middle of last year has proved to be one of the PGA Tour’s most consistent and lowest scoring players. Dustin will be keen to build on his 1st week win in Hawaii after having to withdraw with illness in week two and only managing a tied 51st place finish the week after. This is one of his stomping grounds and I’m sure he and the other two mentioned will all have a solid chance of picking up a win here.
The Course: Known for it’s beautiful setting Pebble Beach, the par 72 /6,816 yds course has played host to 5 U.S Open’s and a PGA Championship during it’s 94 year existence and will provide a memorable and tough challenge for many of this weeks field. Only three foreigners have won on this course, Vijay Singh in 2004 and two Australian winners (Brett Ogle 93′ and Bruce Crampton 65′).
Defending Champion: Phil Mickelson won here last year, and completely blitzed the course and competition on the last day posting a score of -8 finishing two ahead of Charlie Wi who shot the lowest round of the tournament in his first round with a 61. Mickelson comes in to this week following a win, but he has hasn’t recorded back to back wins on tour since 2006 where he won the Bellsouth Classic before winning The Masters the following week! Since then Mickelson has had single win years in 2010,2011 and 2012 so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that form continue. There is not doubt he played brilliantly last week and I will not be putting anyone off backing him, even at the 15/2 top price available with StanJames.
Looking back a past form at this event and the current form of players so far this season there is a few that have caught my eye, many of those at reasonably big prices as well. I will be cutting that list down to four players similar to past weeks and e/w value is key in this weeks decisions. So these are the players that I believe represent the best value for money.
Brandt Snedeker 14/1 (Bet365) 3pts win: Snedeker has been the player to lose out twice to the big statement wins this year firstly coming 2nd to Tiger at the Farmers Insurance and Mickelson at the Waste Management last week, on top of that he finished 3rd in Week 1. I believe he has the strongest chance of winning this week, Phil wont last week and I’m not convinced he will win two in a row and D.Johnson is the other main threat. Now that they both have wins this season it is time for the FedEX champ to step up and pick up his first win of the season, his putting is as good as ever and had a great last day last week in true Snedeker style. For him to be third favourite just makes me want to bet him that bit more and considering I went 14/1 on Dufner last week I’d be silly not to take the chance here and hope it pays off.
Aaron Baddeley 55/1 (StanJames) 1pt e/w: Apart from being cut in 2004 and 2010 Baddeley has always finished in the top 20 of this event. On his last two visits to Pebble Beach he has finished 4th (2012) and T6 (2011) which is why at 55/1 he represents great value for money. I fully expect him to go strong here again this week and he will continue to be hungry as he has now not won since late February 2011. He already has a top 10 finish this year missing out on a place by just one position at the Farmers Insurance coming in a tie for 6th. The price and the course form are enough to prove that Baddeley is well and truly worth a bet.
Robert Garrigus 33/1 (SkyBet) 1pt e/w: Still the unluckiest man on tour when it comes to wins. He only has one win on tour but has lost three play-offs since 2010 and had 4 2nd place finishes on tour last season. This might also show his inability to cross the line, but eventually that time is going to come. A player who is very similar to Charles Howell III in terms of success compared to ability and I’m sure he will follow up his 2 top25’s and one top 10 this season to go on have a strong week here.
James Hahn 135/1 (StanJames) 1pt e/w: Now to also be known as the man who did “Gangnam Style” at the famous 16th hole in Phoenix. Hahn has made all four cuts this season in his rookie season finishing T16 last week and T4 at the Humana Challenge. Hahn being a rookie does not have any form here, but I’m sure he is a player that will embrace the moment and thrive upon the opportunity to play at Pebble Beach. Being 31 years old means he’s not a typical rookie and that could help towards any final round nerves, he looks to be having a great time on tour at the moment and I look forward to seeing what he can do here.
Joburg Open Tips:
Garth Mulroy 35/1 (Bet365) 1pt e/w
Marc Warren 60/1 (Bet365) 1pt e/w
Kristoffer Brogerg 125/1 (Bet365) 1pt e/w
Total Points Staked: 15
I really feel a win is coming soon, the three 3rd place finishes are not enough to kick start the season and I am eagerly awaiting that first win! Feedback and questions welcomed, follow me on Twitter @TomJacobs8.