Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2023 Pebble Beach Picks.
2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Field
Field: 156 Players
Cut: Top 60 and Ties after 54 Holes
Lineup Lock: Thursday, February 2
Defending Champ: Tom Hoge
The promise of extra long rounds with amateur partners, the Saudi International Asian Tour event acting as a proxy war location for PGA/LIV drama, and the scheduling the week before Waste Management/Riviera has left the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in shambles for field strength.
Matthew Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, and AT&T sponsored Jordan Spieth headline the field of the once historic tournament. After that top end, it quickly drops into defending champ Tom Hoge, Seamus Power, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Joel Dahmen, Mav McNealy, and Kevin Kisner. And there’s still 140 players after that. Tough scene.
Kisner and Dahmen are making their first starts of 2023.
2023 Pebble Beach: Past Winners
- 2022: Tom Hoge -19
- 2021: Daniel Berger -18
- 2020: Nick Taylor -19
- 2019: Phil Mickelson -19
- 2018: Ted Potter Jr. -17
- 2017: Jordan Spieth -19
- 2016: Vaughn Taylor -17
2022: Tom Hoge (-19, 2 clear of Jordan Spieth)
- Highlight: Hoge was the Round 1 leader after shooting 63
2021: Daniel Berger (-18, 2 clear of Mav McNealy)
- Highlight: Berger moved the wrong way on “moving day” with a 72, but was seven shots better on Sunday
- The Top-11 finishers all gained Driving Distance on the field
- The Top-13 finishers all gained with the putter
2020: Nick Taylor (-19, four shots clear of Kevin Streelman)
- Highlight: Taylor was the Round 1 leader (by three strokes) after shooting a 63
- The Top-10 finishers all gained with the putter (Taylor was the second best putter for the week)
2019: Phil Mickelson (-19, three shots clear of Paul Casey)
- Highlight: Mickelson bookended the tournament with 65s and led the field in approach
- The top-9 finishers all gained in Good Drives (only four gained in distance)
2018: Ted Potter (-17, 3 clear of Day/Mickelson/Reavie/DJ)
- Highlight: Potter fired a 62 on Saturday (best round of the weekend, no one else had a round better than 64)
2017: Jordan Spieth (-19, 4 clear of Kelly Kraft)
- Highlight: Spieth was inside the Top 5 in Good Drives and GIRs for the week
- 3 of the Top 9 finishers gained over 50 strokes of distance BUT lost fairways to the field
2016: Vaughn Taylor (-17, 1 clear of Mickelson)
- Highlight: Progressively got better … 70-68-67-65
- Taylor won despite losing almost a stroke with the putter (the other Top 15 finishers all gained with the flat stick … Taylor picked up 10.2 strokes T2G, 2.8 better than anyone else)
2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Key Stats
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Par 5s: Gained
- Proximity Gained: 100-150 Yards
- Par-4s Gained: 350-400 Yards
- Strokes Gained: Around The Green
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Course(s)
Course: Pebble Beach GL (Two Rounds)
- Par: 72
- Yardage: 6,972
- Greens: Poa
- Shot Tracker: Yes
Course: Spyglass Hill GC (One Round)
- Par: 72
- Yardage: 7,041
- Greens: Poa
- Shot Tracker: No
Course: Monterey Peninsula (One Round)
- Par: 71
- Yardage: 6,957
- Greens: Poa
- Shot Tracker: No
2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Notes
All three courses are incredibly short and limit the advantage of driving distance. Pebble Beach is annually the course with the shortest average drive on TOUR (264 yards vs. 283 yards) and the one with the fewest amount of drives over 300 yards (nine percent).
This mitigates the advantage of the premier drivers in the world, aka most of the elite players, and combined with a lack of elite golfers at the top end in this event, it has opened the door for long-shot winners. Three of the past six winners — Potter, Nick Taylor and Vaughn Taylor — all went off at triple digits. Overall, the last six winners have all been either 30/1 or below (Spieth, Mickelson and Berger) or 100/1 or longer. Last year, Hoge became the outlier opening 65/1 in the betting market.
Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes are the only two players to hit more than 100 drives over 300 yards at Pebble Golf Links during this event. Dustin Johnson has hit 127 total drives over 300 yards at Pebble Beach Golf Links during this event.
Coastal winds can be a contributing factor to this, as well. Pebble Beach can switch from easy to frustratingly difficult with a wind shift.
Shot Link data is only available for Pebble Beach GL. When you’re researching the statistics keep this in mind as half the rounds golfers have played historically at this event are not weighted in the Strokes Gained metrics. Short-iron specialists, regardless of distance, consistently perform the best on an annual basis at all three courses.
Course history has been strong at Pebble Beach. All winners this millennium had previously made a cut at Pebble Beach in their career before winning, and most had a top 10 finish on their resume.
Since 2000, the leader or co-leader after 54 holes has gone on to win 13 times, including eight of the past ten years. Hoge was tied with Hossler and Putnam last year, Berger was T2, one stroke behind Spieth in 2021, and Phil Mickelson was three back of Paul Casey entering the final round in 2019.
Six first-round leaders have gone on to win at Pebble Beach since 2000, as Nick Taylor became the sixth in 2020. He also became the first international winner at of this event since Vijay Singh in 2004.
Green sizes at Pebble Beach at just 3,500 square feet. Monterey Peninsula has the largest greens in the rotation at 6,000 square feet, which is still slightly below TOUR average. Hence the extra consideration for SG: Around The Green.
This is the first tournament of the year with a full complement of Poa Annua greens. Torrey Pines is spilt between Poa and Bentgrass between the courses. Since 2020, for players with at least seven measured rounds on Poa, Jonas Blixt, Justin Suh, Zac Blair, Kevin Kisner, Brice Garnett, Matt Kuchar, and Maverick McNealy are all averaging +0.9 SG:PUTT per round on Poa greens.
Looking at it another way, Blixt, Suh, Blair, Kuchar, William McGirt, JB Holmes, Taylor Moore, Denny McCarthy, Troy Merritt, and McNealy are the only players in this field gaining against the field in over 70% of rounds on Poa putting surfaces over that stretch.
DRAFTKINGS TRENDS (stars and scrubs)
2022: The winner checked in at $8,500 and scored 25.5 more DK points than anyone else
- 6 players scored 105+ DK points … Hoge was the only mid-tier option (3 were $7,500 or less and the other 3 were over $9,000 – including the two highest priced players)
2021: The winner checked in at $10,100 and scored 21 more DK points than anyone else
- 3 of the Top 4 scorers cost at least $9,700
2020: The winner checked in at $7,000 and scored 23.5 more DK points than anyone else
- 4 of the 5 highest priced golfers finished outside the Top 15 in DK scoring
2019: The winner checked in at $9,600 and scored 19.5 more DK points than anyone else
- More stars and scrubs … each of the Top 6 scorers was priced under $7,500 or over $9,000
2018: The winner checked in at $7,100 and scored 20 more DK points than anyone else
- Here are the DK price rankings of the Top 3 scorers for the week
- T-61st: Ted Potter at $7,100
- 1st: Dustin Johnson at $11,700
- 4th: Jason Day at $10,900
2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks
While his irons let him down at the South Course during the Farmers, his putter certainly did not, and Pebble is a totally different layout for approaches. McNealy has long been on the verge of a breakthrough, and tends to do his best work on shorter courses with small greens. This is strange for a player with plus distance and minus accuracy, however four of his best five career finishes have come here at Pebble (T2, T5), Sony (T7), and The Heritage (T4). His putter has been lethal during the swing and into the new year, averaging almost +1.5 SG: PUTT over his past 20 rounds.
It’s tough trusting Merritt on a weekly basis since he tends to lose one facet of his game every start. But, Pebble has been a happy spot for him over the years. He’s reeled off four straight Top 25 finishes in this event and is one of the only players in the world who seems to have the ability to be the best or worst player in any field with his irons round-to-round. In his past six starts, he’s gained over six strokes on approach and lost over six in separator starts. Fortunately, the same variance which makes him hilariously untrustworthy keeps his price from ever rising too high. Just hope this is the week it all click for him.
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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2021 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and was a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time.
Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Sports Betting, Daily Fantasy, and Traditional Season Long Fantasy).
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