The oracle takes us to the world’s most famous Pebble Beach this week but can he find a diamond in the rough?
Shane Lowry / Image from Getty Images
Pebble Par: 72 / Yardage: 6,816 / Purse: $7.6 million with $1,368,000 to the winner / Defending Champion: Ted Potter, Jr.
Dustin Johnson starts at 5/1 following his win after a bizarre week in Saudi. Finished 2,3,4,2 among his last five starts at Pebble. Site also of back to back wins in 2009 and 2010 and that US Open meltdown in 2010. Unbackable at those odds.
My pick of the favourites is Jason Day at 10/1. Three top-5 finishes in his last four visits to Pebble Beach are no surprise as Jason Day is the perfect fit for the Pro-Am format across three courses. Amassed 45 birdies here in 2017 and 2018 combined and after a T5 last time out at The Farmers we can safely say his putter is humming. Should be right up there.
Doc’s Top-5 Best Each Way Bets
Branden Grace 33/1
Was the victim of some pretty unsavoury crowd taunts at Phoenix last week when battling with Rickie Fowler but held his nerve well to finish solo second. Grace’s greens in regulation stats this season have been excellent and he’ll hoping to improve on a T20 finish in his debut here last year. I think he can place.
Chez Reavie 33/1
Solo second when Tedd Potter won here last year and an in-form Chez is back and ready to add to his bank balance. T3 at the Sony Open, cooled to a T28 at the Desert Classic and pushed again to a T4 in Phoenix. Primed to come into a place again at 33/1.
Shane Lowry 40/1
No top-10 in four Pebble Pro-Am starts but Shane has never been outside the top-15 in the Greens In Regulation stats and after a win in Abu Dhabi and T12 in Dubai he can have his best tournament yet if his putting stays hot. Another man of character happy in the Pro-Am format and with Bo on the bag I think they can have a great week.
Sungjae Im 50/1
Im can pass the $1 million earnings mark in 2019 on his Pebble debut this week and has hit the ground running with a T16 at Sony, T12 at the Desert Classic and T7 last week in Phoenix. A two-time winner on the Web.com last year, he’s the latest in a growing number of South Koreans bred for bread.
Brandt Snedeker 50/1
Hasn’t the form but has the Pebble pedigree! Sneds seems to do well here in the odd numbered years… win in 2013, win in 2015, 4th in 2017, ? In 2019! Struggled desperately to find the greens at Torrey Pines and Phoenix but should find some respite this week and is still lethal with the putter.
Long Odds Glory Shots
Jimmy Walker 100/1. T44 last week, winner at Pebble in 2014 and has an excellent record besides in the event.
Kevin Streelman 125/1. Out of form also but has the safe game for this event. 6th and 7th in 2018 and 2016.
Scott Stallings 200/1. Would be a miracle but we’ve seen them before!