Over the past few seasons in the PGA, we’ve seen the star power of the field at the AT&T Pro-Am in Pebble Beach begin to dwindle, and this year’s field is no exception. The 2023 edition of the AT&T Pro-Am boasts just 23 players in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking, seven in the top 50 in the form of Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, Jordan Spieth, Seamus Power, Tom Hoge, Kevin Kisner, and Kurt Kitayama, with just three of them in the top 20 and only Matt Fitzpatrick in the top 10.
There isn’t one glaring reason for this, but a mix of a few factors has seemingly led to this. First, the weather at Pebble Beach in late January and early February could be more pleasant.
It’s typically windy and wet, with many chances for rain showers and mist coming off the ocean. It’s not ideal golf weather. Another factor is the packed schedules and obligations that most players on the PGA have. With players participating in more tournaments than ever as they compete in the season-long Fed-Ex Cup Championship, where they earn points based on their finish each week, it has forced them to be strategic about their tourney selection.
And a pro-am in rough weather may be an easy scratch.
Nonetheless, it actually makes for an interesting weekend, and the open field allows for a surprise or breakthrough winner.
Best Bets For AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Here are a few players who could take it down this weekend in Pebble.
Matt Fitzpatrick +1000
While he is the highest-ranked player in the field at 10th in the world, he isn’t quite the odds-on favorite as Jordan Spieth takes that title coming in at +850. But in my eyes, Matt Fitzpatrick is every bit the betting favorite, and +1000 seems like a bargain.
Fitzpatrick finished T-6 at last year’s Pro-Am at Pebble and he looked very comfortable in the weekend rounds. At The Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January Fitzpatrick finished T-7. I feel very good about Fitzpatrick’s chances this weekend and that +1000 money may look like a great number heading into the final round on Sunday.
Maverick McNealy +2200
One of the most demanding aspects of Pebble to manage is the difficulty of the greens. But as one of the best putters on tour, Maverick McNealy will be able to handle himself just fine around the greens. The 27-year-old has finished in the top-1o in two of his last three tournaments, and he’s on a ridiculous run with the putter. In Maverick’s previous 24 rounds, he’s first in strokes gained: short game and putting, and second in total strokes gained. If he can figure out with the driver and approach shots, Maverick may be lurking on Sunday.
Seamus Power +2500
The ever-steady Irishman is a reasonably popular pick this weekend. In his last four tournaments, he has three Top-5 finishes, including his second career victory last October at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Power has openly admitted that he is extra motivated this season to earn a spot on the European team at the Ryder Cup, and a strong showing this weekend in California is precisely what he needs to follow up his T-25 at the Sentry a few weekends ago. I like Seamus to be around on the weekend within striking distance.
Andrew Putnam +3000
The 34-year-old American is fresh off a T-4 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Putnam was fantastic at last year’s Pro-Am at Pebble. He was the 54-hole co-leader and finished T-6. With how well he knows this course and his iron-striking ability, +3000 looks like a massive bargain. A flier on Putnam looks like a no-brainer as we hope he can bring some of that magic we saw at Pebble last year.
Joel Dahmen +4000
One of the players locked up at T-6 with Putnam last year was Joel Dahmen. He navigated Pebble extremely well and he looked like he could make a charge until an ill-timed double bogey took him out of contention on Sunday. But make no mistake about it, Dahmen is fully capable of winning this week. The 35-year-old American finished his 2022 season with three straight top-10s and he’s looking to start 2023 the same way. Look for his name on the leaderboard on Sunday.