Ten tournaments into the PGA Tour’s new wrap around season and we are yet to see a winning favourite, and with triple figure odds shots winning the last two stateside events, it’s the layers that have held sway so far.
This week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am represents a chance for the punters to strike back, however, as fancied runners often do well in this event held over three courses on the Californian peninsula.
In his prime Mark O’Meara was regularly backed at short-ish prices before claiming victory, while Davis Love was another easy to spot multiple winner.
More recently Phil Mickelson (12/1) has secured titles when well supported and Dustin Johnson has been successful at sub 20/1 prices.
Over the last five years only DA Points 2011 win was considered a surprise, while last year’s champion, Brandt Snedeker, was a best price 12/1 shot ahead of the action.
Jason Day has the burden of being one of the three joint-market principles at 12/1 this year, but he’s thrived under pressure recently, winning the individual honours in the World Cup in Australia in front of home galleries.
That emotional success, coming just weeks after he lost eight relatives in a devastating typhoon in the Philippines, was his first win since 2010, but since then he has finished sixth and, a fortnight ago, second in the Farmers Insurance Open.
Two sixth places efforts at Pebble Beach is another tick in the right box.
Golfers have to tackle the small greens of Pebble Beach Golf Links twice, while Spyglass Hill and the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club – the latter of which features putting surfaces twice the size of the host venue – are played once.
Overall, though, the three tracks are set up kindly to aid the amateurs who play alongside the professionals.
Dustin Johnson, completing the trio at the front of the betting at 12s, is scheduled to tee it up with potential future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky.
However, with Pebble Beach form figures of 7-1-1-8-55-5-MC the ice hockey legend’s presence should hardly be a hindrance.
If there is to be a bigger priced winner, 50/1 shot Matt Jones fits the bill. The Australian is putting superbly, can boast three top 15 efforts in his last four starts and led this event at halfway in the 2010 renewal before fading.
Jones suffered a similar fate in Phoenix last week but he’ll surely begin to feel more comfortable in these situations the more he finds himself at the top of leaderboards.
My three to follow – Day (12/1), Johnson (12/1) and Jones (50/1)
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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