Fantasy PGA Preview: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro AM

Take me down to the paradise city!!!! Yes, we are off to Pebble Beach, California. A place where golf is the rule of thumb. Yes, I did bust out a bit of Guns N’ Roses because February 6th (Day 1 of the AT&T Pebble Beach) is Axel Rose’s birthday. Random fact of the day.

Waste Management Phoenix Open recap

Who would have thought come Superbowl Sunday a PGA event would provide more excitement, drama and competitiveness than the Superbowl. Well it did, and it wasn’t even close. Down the stretch on Sunday there were 4-5 players in contention but in the end Kevin Stadler, dressed in Broncos colours, prevailed against Bubba Watson to record his first ever PGA win. In years past I might crack a joke like Kevin Stadler is the only Bronco’s fan that was on a high on Sunday night but we all know that wouldn’t be true this year. Congrats to Big Kev though, he now gets a Masters invite to join his dad Craig Stadler (former Masters winner) to play at Augusta. I truly hope they get the chance to play together.

Onto my picks from last week. I will start with the bad. Marc Leishman and Scott Stallings. Both missed the cut after great performances the week before. I was worried about Stallings after I learned about his hospital trip to get an IV a few days prior, but I still took him. Both shot +2 and missed the cut.

Now onto the positives. Big Kev and Captain Caveman (Graham DeLaet). Its hard to go wrong with first and second. Since I played both of them on the same teams that I had Leishman and Stallings, they more than made up for the missed cuts. I will say my two other picks of Pat Perez and my sleeper John Rollins also made the cut and finished in the top 20. Needless to say I was feeling rather great about the picks I handed out last week. Probably more than winning money as well.

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro AM

Like I said before, the PGA this week is in California. The AT&T Pro AM is another one of those events I do not like for fantasy. Like the Humana you have to deal with three different courses in rotation, amateurs (this time celebrities) and a cut on the third day. Top 60 and ties, not the usual top 70 and ties. Also at this event there are three distinct levels of difficulty for each course; easy (Pebble Beach), medium (Monterey Peninsula) and hard (Spyglass), so that’s something you have to consider when picking a team for this tourney. You also have an event that might take upwards of six hours a round to complete, so you need to pick players who have the ability to play at a slow pace. There is a reason John Daly has not made a cut here in five starts. Also maybe shy away from whoever is playing with Chris Berman. Six hours a day with him and HE….MIGHT…..NOT….GO…..ALL….THE…..WAY!!!!

The Courses

  • Pebble Beach Golf Links
    6,816 yards – Par 72
  • Spyglass Hill Golf Course
    6,953 yards – Par 72
  • Monterey Peninsula C.C. Shore Course
    6,838 yards – Par 70

Coverage

  • 1) The Golf Channel will be covering TV Thursday to Sunday
  • 2) CBS will cover the end of the final rounds

If you are stuck at work PGATour will have live coverage as well. Here are the holes and times for the online stream:

Live video channels this week:

  • Featured Holes: The par-5 No. 2 will be the primary hole this week, with supplemental coverage from the iconic par-3 No. 17.

Thursday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ET
Friday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ET

  • Featured Groups:

Saturday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ET
Sunday: 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. ET

Golfers

Hunter Mahan flag $24,569
After the cut at last weeks Waste Management event Mahan posted 65 in his third and fourth rounds to burst into contention Sunday. If not for stumbling with a drive on 17 we might be talking about Waste Management winner Hunter Mahan. If we look about at his history here at Pebble, we will see that he made the cut 8 out of 10 tries at the AT&T but did miss the cut at the 2010 US Open. His last three years here have been 16th or better. I think he has the game as well as the patience to do well at these Pro Am events. He will be paired with Thomas Dundon (handicap 7), serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Santander Consumer USA.
Jim Furyk flag $20,253
Well if we are talking about patience in playing 5 hour rounds then why look any further than Mr 5 Hour Energy himself. Sure this is Furyk’s first event of the season so we don’t know how much rust there is, but in 16 trips to Pebble Beach he is 13 of 15 at the AT&T and he came 16th at the US Open when it was here in 2010. Paired with Darius Rucker (handicap 9) I think there is no reason for Furyk to place within his average finishing position which is 36th.
Matt Jones $18,267
So far in this young season Matt Jones has been playing great golf. Besides a missed cut at the very first event of the wrap around season (Shriners), he has pulled off some impressive finishes. Three of his last 4 have been top 15 finishes. He is paired with Eric Close from shows such as Without a Trace, Suits and currently Nashville. Jones has a nice history here at Pebble Beach. He has made 5 cuts from 6 starts and has an average finishing place of 45th.
Nick Watney flag $17,959
I reading an article about Nick Watneys thoughts on this tournament. “I love playing at this event, it is the closest I get to home all season”. Watney’s play in recent tournaments has been average—he has averaged finishing in the mid 30’s. Maybe all he needs is a bit of home cooking. He went to Fresno State (3 hour drive to Pebble) and is a Sacramento native. Like Hunter Mahan he has played this event 10 times walking away with 8 cuts made. He made the cut at the 2010 US Open as well. His playing partner is Doug Mackenzie (handicap 2).
Kiradech Aphibarnrat $11,087
One of the more ironic pairings in this event would be Aphibarnrat and Reuben Richards Jr (handicap 13). Here we have a golfer from a country (Thailand) with massive energy problems playing with a guy who is Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board at EMCORE, a company that specializes in efficient energy. Now that I have the random tidbit out of the way, there is a reason I like Aphibarnrat this week. He is currently 66th in the world. This is the last week players have to get into the Accenture Match Play event. Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson have both stated they are not playing, so instead of the top 64 being invited it will be the top 66. If Aphibarnrat is on the bubble and a great week here will guarantee a spot in that event for him.

Super Sleeper

Davis Love III flag $7,443
One thing I love about what Draftstreet has done is lowered the floor on the weaker players in the field. I hope this is what we can see for the Masters. I love Davis Love III’s price on almost every site, but you can’t beat his price on DS. 7.4K for a player who has made 17 trips to Pebble Beach (16 AT&T and 1 US Open). In those 17 trips he has walked away with 14 made cuts. Including a 6th at the US Open. He has made 4 of 6 cuts this season with a 58th at the other Pro Am tournament this year (Humana). The roster flexibility with a player that is 7.4K is huge.

So these are my picks for the week. Good luck in all your leagues!

Cheers.

Gibb

About the Author

  • Gibb Pollard (gibbathy)

  • Gibb Pollard has been a member of RotoGrinders since 2012. He is an example of the power of the RotoGrinders blog section, taking a little weekly PGA blog in 2012 and turning it into a two-time FSWA nominated column. In 2014 he took down the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year award. Originally hailing from Australia, he is a regular on our PGA GrindersLive shows, giving our cast of hosts some international flavor.

Comments

  • Victorious888

    Ken duke
    Hunter Mahan
    Bryce Molder
    Pat Perez
    Patrick reed
    Micheal Thompson

    Book it

  • gregsj

    would sure be nice if so called “experts” would at least get their facts right. just for starters davis love 3 has played 3 us opens at pebble 92. 2000, 2010 and pebble beach is in no way harder than monterrey peninsula…

  • gibbathy

    2014 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year

    • Blogger of the Month

    Greg – I am not sure what you are implying here? “pebble beach is in no way harder than monterrey peninsula…”? I didn’t say it was harder. Yes Davis Loves 2 prior US Opens were over looked.

    I do not consider myself an expert. Just a guy who loves fantasy golf. No need for negativity.

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