Pebble Beach Golf Links – Par 72, 6,816 yards
Spyglass Hill – Par 72, 6,953 yards
Monterey Peninsula – Par 71, 6,867 yards
This tournament is played on three courses – Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula. It is a Pro-Am format taking place on all three courses over the first three rounds with everyone playing Pebble Beach on Sunday. All the courses measure less than 7,000 yards and all feature four par fives with Monterey playing as a par 71 and Pebble beach and Spyglass Hill playing as par 72’s.
Pebble Beach is widely known and is a beautiful seaside links on the coast of California. It has a lot of history to it playing host to the US Open five times and the PGA Championship once. It is quite short by PGA Tour standards and is quite generous and forgiving off the tee. Pebble’s main defence is its smaller than average greens, not to mention the windy weather this time of year.
Spyglass Hill is fractionally different from the other two courses as it a bit tighter with its narrow, tree lined fairways. The trees can work in the players favor especially if the wind gets up.
Monterey Peninsula is a par 71 and is usually the easiest of the three courses but the greens here are bigger and play fractionally faster than the other two courses so a hot putter and long drive will be the key to making birdies here.
Judging by previous history good putters (especially on poa annua), good scrambling and hitting plenty of greens have been the ingredients to victory in this event.
The grass type on the greens is the same as Torrey Pines at the Farmers Insurance Open a couple of weeks ago so take that into consideration. This course tends to favor the bigger hitters so making birdie or better on the majority of the 16 par 5’s played here this week will be a big plus.
After winning in Torrey Pines a couple of weeks ago, Jason Day looks in great shape coming to Pebble this week. He has been playing some decent golf over the last couple of months with five top 11’s and a win in his last eight competitive starts.
Day finished in a respectable T9 at the PGA Championship back in August followed by a T6 at the Northern Trust Open in Glen Oaks shooting a 69 or better in three of his four rounds. The Aussie then travelled to the BMW Championship in Conway Farms finishing solo fourth which included an opening 64 and a second round 65.
He started the new season off at the CJ Cup in Korea finishing T11 and followed that with another T11 at the WGC HSBC Champions in China. Day then made his way to Torrey Pines and played solid throughout the week shooting rounds of 73,64,71,70 to post 10 under for the tournament and ended up beating Swede Alex Noren in a playoff on Monday morning.
He has played well here in the past with four top 11 finishes in his last five starts with form figures 5,11,4,MC,6 since 2013.
Statswise Day ranks third in driving distance, 27th in GIR, 25th in SGP, sixth in SG of the tee and second in par 4 scoring. After winning on the poa annua greens of Torrey Pines a couple of weeks ago along with his excellent record here, Day looks a good shout here at 10’s.
Patrick Reed looks to be trending in the right direction lately and could be a player to keep on side this week.
Reed has been in decent shape over the last few months with two top 11’s and two top 25’s in his last seven starts. He played well at the CJ Cup finishing T11 followed by a decent T5 at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas back in December.
After missing the cut at the CareerBuilder Challenge, he bounced back with a T23 in Torrey Pines posting three under for the tournament and followed that with a top 20 last week in Phoenix shooting rounds of 71,66,69,67 to finish T17, so he looks to be going in the right direction form wise.
Reed has some great memories of Pebble over the last few years with three top 15’s and two top 30’s in five appearances showing form figures 23,6,29,13,7 since 2013.
The Texan has shown some great form on windy setups over the last few years with a win and two top 10’s in Kapalua, top 20’s at the Open Championship the last three years and a couple of top 10’s at Copperhead in Florida (home of the Valspar Championship) which boasts smaller than average greens by PGA Tour standards, just like Pebble.
He ranks 31st in SGP, 27th in SGTTG and seventh in SG around the green. With a good mix of current/previous form here Reed looks decent value.
Since winning the CIMB Classic back in October, Pat Perez has continued his good form with two top 5’s and a top 25 in his last four starts.
Following his impressive four shot victory over Keegan Bradley at the CIMB with rounds of 66,65,64,69, Perez then travelled to Korea for the CJ Cup finishing T5 which included an opening 69 and a final round 68. He then played in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China posting a respectable T24 which included a pair of 69’s.
Perez had another solid week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in windy Kapalua where he shot rounds of 72,66,71,69 finishing T4 on 14 under par in total.
He has a good record here with three top 15’s in his last four starts finishing T14 last year, T4 in 2015 and T7 in 2014.
Statswise the Californian ticks all the boxes here ranking third in driving accuracy, fifth in GIR, fifth in SG putting and 16th in both par 3 and par 4 scoring.
It’s worth mentioning that Perez has a good record on tricky windy courses with top 10’s in Waialae (Sony open) and Torrey Pines (Farmers Insurance Open) over the last four years and is generally a strong west coast performer. With great current form so far this season and I expect him to have a decent week especially with his record here.
Chesson Hadley 45/1
I like the look of the in-form Chesson Hadley on a course he has expressed his liking for in the past. Hadley has been playing well over the last couple of months with four top 5’s and a top 25 in his last eight starts.
He began the season in style with a T3 at the Safeway Open, a solo second at the Sanderson Farms which included four rounds of 70 or better and a T4 at the Shriners Open in Vegas, which included a 65,68,69 over the weekend to post eight under par for the tournament.
Hadley then went off the boil a bit with a couple of mediocre results but bounced back well with a T23 in Torrey Pines firing rounds of 71,72,71,71 showing some great consistency.
Last week in Phoenix he cracked the top 10 shooting an opening 66 followed by three 68’s to finish T5 on 14 under.
He has played well on this course before with back to back T10’s in 2014 and 2015. I had a look at some quotes from the Fantasy Golfanac and came across this gem from the man himself –
Chesson Hadley – “It’s just an awesome old school golf course [Monterey Peninsula’s Shore Course]. The greens are really old poa annua and the course is, it kind of has, almost has a slight links feel to it. Pebble Beach is my favourite, that’s my favourite course ever, but this course is in awesome shape and like I said, the weather is, this is as good as it gets in golf.”
Hadley ticks some key statistical boxes here ranking 37th in GIR, sixth in SGTTG, 37th in SG putting, first in par 3 scoring, 38th in par 4 scoring and 27th in par 5 scoring.
Final selections – PP Paying 7 places on 1/5 odds
Jason Day 1pt EW 10/1
Pat Perez 1pt EW 35/1
Patrick Reed 0.5pts EW 33/1
Chesson Hadley 0.5pts EW 45/1
Good luck and enjoy the golf.
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