Phil Mickelson prepares to hit off the first tee of the South Course during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
- The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am from Monterey, California tees off Thursday, February 11th
- Five-time champion Phil Mickelson returns to a championship he dominates
- Read below for analysis of the event and our favorite sleepers and longshot plays
With Brooks Koepka returning to the winner’s circle at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, the PGA Tour heads to California for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which usually features several amateur celebrities and attracts a decent field for the professionals.
This year the Pro-Am portion of the tournament has been scrapped due to COVID-19 concerns and with Dustin Johnson withdrawing, none of the top ten and just three of the top twenty golfers in the world are teeing it up.
With there being a weak field at this event, finding sleepers and longshots that could break through is trickier because their odds will be much lower than if the big guns were competing, but we’ll attempt to cash a big ticket on three players.
2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Sleeper Picks
|Golfer||Odds to Win||Top 10 Odds||Top 20 Odds|
All odds taken Feb. 9 at FanDuel
Mickelson Has Owned This Tournament
There’s no way to beat around the bush about it – Phil Mickelson has been playing some really poor golf of late, with nothing better than a T-44 finish in his tournaments on Tour this season. However, something changes in Lefty once he gets onto these hallowed grounds. He’s won this event a record tying five times in his career and his high finishes haven’t been relegated to many moons ago.
Finesse for days.
These two bunker shots from @PhilMickelson will be hard to top. pic.twitter.com/DpvIWcCaow
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 9, 2021
In four of the last five years, Mickelson has placed inside the top-three at Pebble, emerging victorious in 2019, posting two runner-ups in 2016 and 2018 and 2020 was in third place.
Against an incredibly weak field with very little top-tier talent, Mickelson has a tremendous opportunity to snatch another title at his personal playground.
Pick: Phil Mickelson to win outright (+4700)
Brendan Steele Has Returned to Form
In his last three events, Steele has shown much more of a consistent game, with a T-4 showing at the Sony Open where he led after 54 holes, then followed that up with T-21 and T-30 results.
In the last twelve rounds on Tour, Steele ranks second in strokes gained off the tee, third tee-to-green, fifth in ball striking and sixth in total strokes gained.
What a day for @Brendan_Steele. 👏
He shot a 61, and he’s the leader heading into the final round of the @SonyOpenHawaii. pic.twitter.com/efMan8tI9c
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 17, 2021
He hasn’t played this event since way back in 2014, so there’s no recent course history to glean from. Expecting him to place in the top ten isn’t too tall an order considering the strength of field.
Pick: Brendan Steele Top-10 Finish (+600)
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Stallings With Solid Tournament History
Keeping with the theme of selecting American golfers, given the fact that Canadian Nick Taylor was the first international to win since 2004 last year, Scott Stallings could cash a ticket for a top twenty result.
Excluding a surprising missed cut in 2020, Stallings was really good at this tournament the three previous years.
Those finishes were as follows: T-14th, 7th, 3rd. Unsurprisingly, his strokes gained stats across the board have been solid as well as he’s been in the mix to capture the title.
Scott Stallings Strokes Gained Stats – Last Eight Rounds at Pebble Beach
|Total||Tee-to-green||Ball Striking||Approach||Around-the-green||Short Game|
With three of the four rounds at Pebble Beach this year, compared to the customary two (one course has been taken out of the rotation), excellence at this track will be magnified.
You could even consider attempting to get the extra juice on Stallings for a top ten finish, but his recent play has been fairly spotty so that might be a bit much to ask of him.
Pick: Scott Stallings Top 20 Finish (+340)
Michael “Hound Dog” Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statisitician for the Jay and Dan Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he’s been featured on Sportscentre, That’s Hockey, That’s Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.