Fantasy PGA Preview: AT&T Pro AM Pebble Beach

As the West Coast swing continues, we are in the middle of a three-event California stretch. It works out pretty good for the PGA this year. Three California events, followed by four Florida events and then two Texas events. After that, The Masters. Yes ladies and gentlemen . . . The Masters.

Now before I get too far a head of myself, we are at Pebble Beach for this week’s AT&T Pro Am. A showcase of both pro golfers and those wishing they could be pro golfers. It would be a nice touch to be able to pick some celebrities this week, but that will not happen. Besides, Bill Murray would most likely be 90% owned.

Farmers Insurance Recap

Well wasn’t that a very interesting tournament. On one hand we had a whole slew of failings. Tiger failing to shake injury. Phil failing to find form. Dustin failing to shake rust. Hideki failing to make birdie and getting to play on the weekend, especially after having an eagle putt on the 36th hole, only to par the hole. The biggest fail of them all had to be Brooks Koepka and his 5 putt on that same hole. I have not seen that much fail since Nick Anderson’s missed free throws in the 1995 NBA Finals. Like Anderson’s career, Brooks never recovered after that.

One the other hand we have my fellow countryman Jason Day winning a four-man playoff to pick up his first win this season. I can not take credit for picking him, but I will say I did mention him twice in my article last week. The win at this course only strengthens my opinion that he is a real threat to take down a major this season, assuming he can stay healthy.

On Friday afternoon, my picks looked like they were right on the money (with the exception of Justin Rose). Jacobson, Leishman and Poulter all looked dangerous. Even Pat Perez looked like he was in position to move up the leaderboard. Then the weekend happened and the wheels fell off. Though it is fair to say that a lot of golfers struggled over the weekend. None more glorious than Pat Perez, who shot an 83 on Sunday to finish +12 for the tournament. I still wish I had those Mark Hubbard vs Tiger odds though. I’m glad my sleeper pick played all four rounds.

With Victiv’s harsh scoring on bogeys or worse, I am thinking for tournaments where scores will be high (especially the US Open), two punt plays might be the way to go. By rostering Chris Williams, it gave me the freedom to take Hoffman, Thomas, Poulter, Woodland, Keegan and Koepka. In easier tournaments, having a more evenly matched team will give you a greater chance for top finishes. On the tougher courses, having two punt plays will hopefully eliminate rostering players that could throw up a pair of 80s on the weekends. As you can see, my Victiv strategy is still a work in progress.

AT&T Pro AM

So, we are almost out of the woods in terms of getting these gimmick events over for the year. What makes this a great event to watch is the very thing that makes this event bad for fantasy. Amateurs. Unlike the Humana though, these are the celebrity amateurs, who are use to putting on a show. Rounds will take six hours to complete, interviews will be had during the rounds and autographs will be signed by both pro golfers and celebrities alike as the round is being played.

The other aspect of this event that makes it hard to predict is the always lovely three-course rotation. Unlike the Humana, where all the courses play easy, there are levels of difficulty to this three-course rotation. This tourney features the cut coming after everyone has had a chance to play all three courses (top 60 and ties), instead of the usual second day cut (top 70 and ties.)

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

Recommended Golfers

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Ryan Palmer
DraftKings $10,000
Victiv $8,400
DraftDay $19,200
To say Ryan Palmer has been on a tear is an understatement. Ten of his last 11 events have been top 25 finishes. Six of those have been top 10 finishes. Two of those 11 events have been Pro Am tournaments. He came 10th at the Humana and 14th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Europe. That event is like the European Tour version of the AT&T Pro Am. In the last five years, Palmer has made the cut at this event three out of four starts.
Last Three Events
Waste Humana Sony
2nd 10th 17th
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Jim Furyk
DraftKings $9,500
Victiv $8,700
DraftDay $17,850
It is hard for me not to roster Jim Furyk at this price. Some people will be scared that this is his first event since the Tour Championship last season. In recent years though, Furyk has always started off his season at Pebble Beach. In his 18 starts at this event, he has made the cut a staggering 16 times. Furyk ended his season last year finishing in the top 10 six out of eight times, with five of those six finishes being top 5s. The way pricing is shaping up in 2015, this might be the cheapest you will get Furyk all season.
Last Three Events
Tour Champ BMW Champ Deutsche
2nd 4th 23rd
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Kevin Na
DraftKings $8,300
Victiv $8,100
DraftDay $16,400
Kevin Na comes into this event with the two things you like to see from a player: good recent form and good course history, especially recent course history. Besides a WD at the Shriners event at the start of his season, Na has not missed a cut nor finished poorly in non-cut events. He made the cut at the other Pro Am Humana. coming 48th (exactly the same place he came at that event last season). His course history here is six cuts made from eight starts, and in the last five years he has made four cuts from five starts. In his last three trips to the AT&T Pro Am, he has recorded three top 25 finishes, with two of them being top 5 finishes.
Last Three Events
Waste Humana Sony
26th 48th 64th
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Shane Lowry
DraftKings $8,300
Victiv $7,600
DraftDay $16,400
Lowry is my dark horse pick this week. He is coming into this event with a strong four consecutive top 25 finish streak, though most of those were on the European Tour. He did finish in the top 10 at Torrey Pines last week and considering the talent that missed the cut, it was a very impressive finish. One thing that caught my eye about Lowry though, his European Tour Pro Am record: six starts, five consecutive made cuts and two consecutive top 10 finishes, one of those being a top 5. I’m not sure how that translates to the PGA Pro Am, but it does show me he is not bothered by the format.
Last Three Events
Farmers Nedbank Dubai
7th 11th 5th
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Kevin Streelman
DraftKings $7,100
Victiv $6,900
DraftDay $15,100
Streelman started his AT&T Prom Am career with three consecutive missed cuts. Since then he has made four in a row, for a total of seven starts. In fact, his record in Pro Am in the last five years (Humana & Pebble Beach), nine starts and eight made cuts. So far this calender year Streelman has improved his finishing position by 10 in each of his starts. He placed 30th at the Waste Management event two weeks ago.
Last Three Events
Waste Humana Sony
30th 41st 51st
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Sleeper

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Alexander Levy
DraftKings $7,600
Victiv $7,300
DraftDay $15,700
There will not many times I will put such an expensive player at my sleeper position, but I think he is a sleeper in the sense that he is an unknown for most fantasy players. He does not play many events on the PGA Tour. In the three PGA events he played last calender year, he put up solid results in two of them. In his last 11 starts, Levy has recorded 8 top 25 finishes, including a runner up at the BMW Masters and a win at the Portugal Masters. One of those top 25 finishes was at the European Tour Pro Am event.
Last Three Events
Dubai Qatar Abu Dhabi
29th MC 20th
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Victiv Punt Play

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Mark Hubbard
DraftKings $4,300
Victiv $4,000
DraftDay $9,750
I said it last week, Hubbard is fantasy gold from the punt position. By hook or by crook, he is making cuts. His price of 4K on Victiv puts him in punt range. I will probably not get off this train until he either starts missing cuts or his price starts increasing. It also does not hurt that he went to university at San Jose State, which is 75 miles north of Pebble Beach.
Last Three Events
Farmers Humana Sony
61st 20th 60th
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So there you have it folks, my picks for this weeks AT&T Pro Am.

Good luck to all.

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

  • leafs93

    100% on furyk wont see him cheaper case and point DJ after the missed cut. Out of the studs he is by far the most risky but with his amateur partner for the first 3 rounds being his future father in law “the great one” himself, I think im going to chase it.

  • julieduke33

    @leafs93 said...

    100% on furyk wont see him cheaper case and point DJ after the missed cut. Out of the studs he is by far the most risky but with his amateur partner for the first 3 rounds being his future father in law “the great one” himself, I think im going to chase it.

    I agrre on DJ, plus playing with an amateur you are comfortable with and have played with the last 3 months has to be better than just getting hooked up with someone.. God save the guy trying to win with bill Murray being obnoxious as hell and trying to steal all the spotlight…

  • 10Beers

    @julieduke33 said...

    God save the guy trying to win with bill Murray being obnoxious as hell and trying to steal all the spotlightâ€Ĥ

    You mean Illini D.A. Points who had his only PGA Tour win at this event in 2011 with said obnoxious Ghost Buster as his partner?

  • julieduke33

    @tschaf said...

    You mean Illini D.A. Points who had his only PGA Tour win at this event in 2011 with said obnoxious Ghost Buster as his partner?

    Didn’t know that but I would think it would be tough to golf with Murrray and how did he finish in 2012, 13 and 14

  • gibbathy

    2014 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year

    • Blogger of the Month

    Chris Berman. You are going for a 50 foot birdie putt. It. Could. Go. All. The. Way.

  • DillingerFour

    FD Rep - DFBMeeMee Champ (x2)

    • Blogger of the Month

    Where’s Madden? He should like these picks…

  • jrohalle

    Awesome

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