PGA Tour Golf Odds and Predictions: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
by Alan Matthews - 2/8/2012
Well, not great results on my value picks for last week’s Waste Management Open outside Phoenix. I thought young Rickie Fowler had a great shot at his first victory and he started solidly with a pair of 69s but would finish at 26th. My value choice at long odds (+4200) was Y.E. Yang. Oops! He missed the cut after a pair of 73s.
But in a way, I was very happy with the result last week because of the incredible bounce-back win by Kyle Stanley. Of course, Stanley had choked away his first win the previous week at the Farmers Insurance Open and wasn’t given much chance to win in Scottsdale. Stanley entered the final round a whopping eight shots behind 54-hole leader Spencer Levin. But Stanley closed with a bogey-free 6-under 65, holing a four-foot par putt on the par-4 18th to win it, one of the most unlikely results on Tour in years. Levin, six strokes ahead entering the round and seven in front after one hole, shot a 75 to finish two strokes behind Stanley.
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So now I think I have to root for Levin to win this week as the Tour heads back to California for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The big news here is that Tiger Woods makes his 2012 PGA Tour debut. That’s not to say Tiger hasn’t teed it up. Two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi he was in position for his first official worldwide win since late 2009. Tiger entered the final round of the European Tour event tied with relative unknown Robert Rock, but Woods shot a final-round 72 to finish in third, two strokes back of Rock.
So do you take those three first good rounds as where Tiger is or that final round, his worst by two shots, where he hit just two fairways and only six greens in regulation? Tiger said he was having trouble reading the fairways as several of his drives ran through them and he ended up putting from off several greens. Woods has gone 26 tournaments dating to November 2009 without winning an official event.
Technically only one member of the Top 10 in the world rankings is here this week: American Dustin Johnson. He’s a past winner who is playing as are Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Davis Love III, among others. Jim Furyk hasn’t won here but makes his 2012 debut.
Expect very long rounds this week as it is spread over three courses -- Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Club and the Shore Course at the Monterey Peninsula Golf Club – and there are all those amateur celebrities like Bill Murray playing in the pro-am portion with the pros. The cut is made after 54 holes, with all pros and the top amateur teams advancing to the final round on Sunday at Pebble Beach.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Favorites
Oddsmakers at Bovada are back on the Tiger bandwagon as he is the overwhelming 5/1 favorite despite the fact he hasn’t played the regular PGA Tour event here since 2002 (he won in 2000). Tiger tied for fourth at Pebble at the 2010 U.S. Open. For what it’s worth, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo is playing with Tiger. If you want to watch Woods, he will play the first round at Spyglass Hill on Thursday (10:01 a.m. local time), followed by Monterey Peninsula on Friday (9:17) and Pebble Beach on Saturday (8:22). This is also Tiger’s first PGA Tour event since a tie for 30th in October at the Frys.com Open, which he only played as a warm-up to the Presidents Cup.
It’s a four-way tie for second-favorite at 20/1 between Mickelson, Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Nick Watney. I would love Johnson this week, but I’m still not sure he’s 100 percent healthy as he hasn’t played that well so far this year with just two rounds in the 60s in three tournaments (one W/D after the first round). But Johnson won this tournament in 2009 and 2010 and finished T7 in 2008. Remember, he also held a three-shot lead after 54 holes of the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble before a final-round 82.
Lefty also has struggled this year, with a T49, missed cut and T26. But Mickelson has three wins in 16 starts here and Top-10 finishes the past two years. Mahan has played only once on tour this year, a T6 at the Farmers a few weeks ago. He has just one Top-10 finish in eight visits here, a runner-up last season. Watney withdrew last week with an illness but should be fine. He didn’t play well last time out, a T60 at the Farmers, but T6 here last year.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Predictions
It’s not too often you will see a defending champion of an event at 40/1, but that’s where D.A. Points is. Points finished at 15 under a year ago and very much deserved the win, leading the field in putting and co-leading in eagles and birdies. Points was just average last week but already has two Top-10 finishes in 2012.
Don’t rule out Levin at 33/1. He has yet to miss a cut in four events this season or in three visits to this tournament. Levin was T4 last year at 10 under. Oh, and Levin won the 2004 California State Amateur at Pebble.
The guy I’m going with this week is Bryce Molder at 30/1. He has three Top-15 finishes in four tournaments this year and actually closed last year with three straight Top-11 results, including a win at the Frys.com Open – the last time Tiger played on Tour. Coincidence? After missing his first four cuts here, Molder has posted Top 10s in each of the last two years.