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Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, & Predictions – 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am


Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, and Predictions for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Fantasy Preview

The opening couplet of Rudyard Kipling’s timeless poem ‘If’ reads ‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs….’, before continuing with ‘If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you….’, and that piece of writing is absolutely on the money when it comes to discussing Gary Woodland’s emotional win at the Phoenix Open on Sunday.

Woodland wasn’t even in the frame after 54-holes: the top of the leaderboard was crammed with proven champions in Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Xander Schauffele and even the likes of Daniel Berger and Xander Schauffele.

But as Mr Kipling so wisely wrote, there is an advantage to being able to keep your head while those around you start to lose the plot, and that’s exactly what Woodland was able to do.

Gary Woodland poses with the trophy after winning the Waste…

Gary Woodland poses with the trophy after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 4, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

His closing round of 65 featured a final four-hole run of -3, and that was enough to hand him the clubhouse lead at -18 as all around him fumbled.

All, that is, apart from Chez Reavie.

Despite a rush of adrenaline on sixteen with a baying crowd watching on, the diminutive Reavie birdied the final two holes to force a playoff with Woodland in front of a gallery of thousands.

And it was Woodland who held his nerve: a par four at the first extra hole enough to secure an emotional victory. The 33-year-old has had to overcome the devastating death of his unborn daughter last year to get to this point, and his look to the heavens when the winning putt sunk was confirmation that she was never far from his mind.

‘If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you.’ You could forgive Woodland for not believing in himself after going five years on Tour without a win, but hard work with coaches Butch Harmon and Brad Faxon, after a 2017 campaign that was tough for obvious reasons, has paid dividends. The fact he and Reavie ranked second and third for Strokes Gained: Tee to Green – behind our headline pick Hideki Matsuyama, who was going so well before having to withdraw with a wrist injury – speaks volumes.

Last Week’s Fantasy Results from the Waste Management Open

Hideki Matsuyama’s unexpected early WD (due to injury) hurt the top of our lineups last week, but the real star was our Tuesday Sleeper Report pick in Gary Woodland who beat out a strong field (and long odds) to take home an emotional victory.

In case you missed it, here’s what we had to say last week about Woodland heading into the WMPO:

Gary Woodland – Vegas Odds 50/1 – The T12 finish of Gary Woodland at Torrey Pines will have largely gone unnoticed due to the thrilling finish, but shrewd gamers will have noted that all aspects of his game were in fine fettle.

Typically an outstanding tee-to-green player, the 33-year-old also ranked seventh for Strokes Gained: Putting, and for guys like Woodland that is usually an indicator that more good form is to follow.

The two-time PGA TOUR winner finished T7 on his previous start at the Sony Open, so the upward trend is obvious for a player that has gone six-for-eight at Scottsdale with one top-five finish.

Hopefully you heeded our advice and mixed Woodland into your rosters last week to because Gary came in strong with plenty of DFS points from the bottom of the lineup.

2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Field

The top three players in world golf will duke it out at Pebble Beach, and they will be joined by two other members of the OWGR top 10.

The rejuvenated pairing of Rory McIlroy and Jason Day catches the eye. After struggling with a rib injury last season, McIlroy looked to be somewhere back to his best in finishing 2-3 on the European Tour’s Desert Swing a couple of weeks ago, while Day returned to the winner’s circle at the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

They will be joined by a notable cast that features two-time Pebble Beach champions Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Pat Perez, Paul Casey and many more intriguing propositions.

Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the third hole during the…

Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 4, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

This Week’s Course Preview

As ever, the action will unfold over three courses. The iconic Pebble Beach is our host, and they will take the honors for one of the opening trio of rounds on the rotation, as well as being the scene for the coronation of the champion on Sunday. Spyglass Hill and Monterey Shore make up the trio.

They all share some things in common. The coastal, Californian location ensures that the weather can play a factor (more on that later), with the wind in particular an occasional nuisance, and all three tracks are said to be Links-style in nature. All feature Poa Annua greens, too.

Pebble Beach has hosted five editions of the US Open plus a PGA Championship, and that should give some indication of its complexity. Measuring 6,816 yards for its Par 72, this is one of the shortest layouts on the PGA TOUR, and with fairly wide fairways you might be thinking how is this a major championship course?

Well, the answer lies in the tiny Poa Annua greens, which really do take some hitting. Factor in the wind and you have a recipe for a tough old test: Graeme McDowell won the 2010 US Open here in level par, while Tiger Woods’ absurd winning mark of -12 in 2000 is made all the more remarkable by noting that Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez, in T2, finished on +3!

The players will be looking to make hay at the other two courses then, with Monterey typically playing the easiest of the bunch. At 6,958 yards for its Par 71 no player is discounted in terms of length, and the greens are twice the size of those at Pebble Beach. Despite its Par 71 billing, Monterey features four Par 5s with a trio of those coming on the back nine.

Spyglass can play pretty tough on any given day, but because it is largely tree-lined it boasts a huge advantage: the course is less exposed to the elements than the other two. And so while the Par 72, 6,858 yard layout is a stern test of ball-striking, it can actually serve up a draw bias to those who play here on the windiest of days.

Spyglass Hill has been called the ‘best course never to have hosted a major’, and it was here that Bing Crosby famously bet Jack Nicklaus that he couldn’t break par during his National Pro-Am event. The Golden Bear fired a round of 70 (-2) to win the tournament and nab a crisp $5 note from the White Christmas crooner!

The 18th fairway and 18th green seen from the tee box during the 2nd…

The 18th fairway and 18th green seen from the tee box during the 2nd round of the Champions Tour Pure Insurance Championship on September 23, 2017 in Pebble Beach, California. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

Weather Forecast for Carmel, CA

The early weather forecast suggests that Saturday will be the windiest day on the West Coast, with gusts of 13 mph (probably stronger at local level) buffeting the players.

These could be famous last words but the wind actually looks fairly benign by Pebble Beach standards on Thursday and Friday at 8 mph, although keep your eyes locked to the forecast as this could quite easily change.

And to Sunday….well, this could be interesting. Gusts of up to 20 mph are predicted, and with those who make the cut tackling the difficult (and exposed) Pebble Beach, we could see a rather volatile leaderboard heading up the final straight!

Last Year’s Results from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

The 2017 edition of the AT&T Pebble Beach was very much the Jordan Spieth show. He was T2 after a tough opening round that saw him shoot 68 at Monterey, but from there he did not look back: a pair of 65s saw him hold a commanding six-shot lead over Brandt Snedeker at the 54-hole mark.

Spieth closed out with a 70 at Pebble Beach to win by four shots from Kelly Kraft and five from Dustin Johnson.

Snedeker would go on to finish solo fourth, while Gary Woodland, Jon Rahm and Jason Day were all tied up in fifth.

Notable rounds of the week came from Spieth, who fired 65s at Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach on Friday/Saturday to set up his win, with Day taking the top honours with 64 at Spyglass. Kraft played his 36 holes at Pebble Beach in -11, with DJ not far behind at -10.

Where to Play Fantasy Golf for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this Week

The daily fantasy sites are throwing some money at this week’s slate: adding to the already rabid anticipation of what should be a high-quality event. There’s decent sums to be won by those on low and big budgets alike!

  • PGA $500k Drive the Green: Fancy trousering a $100k top prize? Then get stuck into this contest that guarantees a huge payout for just a $4 entry. The first 150 home will pocket a minimum of $100.
  • PGA $267 Winner Takes All: When there’s a high degree of variance, what with potential draw biases across the three courses, it pays for well-informed gamers to get stuck into single entry contests: get more bang for your buck in this four-team game that pays a cool $1k to the winner.

This Week’s Fantasy Notes for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Not for the first time in his young career, Jordan Spieth was indebted to his ridiculous putting stroke in adding yet another trophy to his collection.

Solid from tee-to-green but by no means spectacular, Spieth gained +2.13 strokes on the field with his flat stick, and that ability to break par – particularly during the middle 36 holes, where he went -14 through Pebble Beach and Spyglass – was the defining factor of his victory.

But that isn’t the only trick to taming Pebble Beach. Kelly Kraft was on fire with his irons, ranking first for SG: Tee to Green and SG: Approach, in a performance that he hasn’t matched since. At Pebble Beach in particular laser-like precision is required on approach, so Kraft’s solo second should come as no surprise to anyone.

The fact that Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Kevin Kisner finished inside the top-10 and also ranked among the best of the week from tee-to-green should add further fuel to the flames.

Indeed, if we park Kraft to one side for the time being, the first six players home were Spieth, DJ, Snedeker, Woodland, Day and Rahm, so the conclusion we can make is that the cream will rise to the top at Pebble Beach – this isn’t a birdie-fest event where any old Tom, Dick or Harry ca get hot with the putter and win.

As for other correlations to consider, clearly good putting on Poa Annua (typically found on Californian courses) is key, as is a penchant for playing well in windy, coastal locations (think RSM Classic, RBC Heritage etc).

We’re also willing to suggest that decent finishes in Pro-Am events are well worth looking up. This is a unique format of golf that perhaps takes an outgoing personality type to thrive in, especially if paired with an amateur who is shanking their ball to all parts. That said, Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge, and we wouldn’t necessarily be categorizing him as the jovial, good-natured type out on the course!

One final link that appears, on the face of it, to be wholly circumstantial, and yet there is plenty of evidence to suggest there is a correlation between Pebble Beach and the Golf Club of Houston, the host for the Houston Open. The likes of Phil Mickelson and D.A Points have won both events, while a lengthy list that includes Spieth, J.B Holmes, Vaughn Taylor, Chris Kirk, Vijay Singh and Hunter Mahan have finished either first or second in both.

Our Top 5 (and Top 2 Sleeper) Fantasy Picks and Odds to Win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

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Fantasy Golf Predictions This Season (2017-2018)

Tourneys Played '17 -'18
84 Picks
Season Earnings
$754,217 average
Total Top 3s
5 out of 84 picks
Total Top 10s
19 out of 84 picks
Total Top 25s
38 out of 84 picks
Total Winners Picked
1 out of 12 events
Total Runners-Up Picked
3 out of 12 events
Total Made Cuts (Includes Sleepers)
69 out of 84 picks

Remember to visit our private Facebook group to discuss this week’s picks for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with other Premium Members.

Cover Photo via Instagram

This post first appeared on Golficity - Golf. Made Simple., please read the originial post: here

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Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, & Predictions – 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am


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