Alternative Ways to Play Field at Pebble Beach

By Wes Reynolds  () 

The U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach for the first time since 2010 and its sixth time on the Monterey Peninsula. Of course, a major championship also provides us with a more extensive menu of betting opportunities aside from the usual matchup and futures markets that we see on a weekly basis.

TOP 10 FINISH

• Xander Schauffele 250

• Justin Thomas 275

• Jason Day 300

• Adam Scott 300

• Hideki Matsuyama 300

• Brandt Snedeker 400

• Henrik Stenson 500

• Branden Grace 1000

• Jimmy Walker 1100

• Danny Willett 1200

Schauffele, a winner at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui to begin 2019, has finished Top 10 in three of the past six majors. He was in the Top 10 going into Sunday at the PGA Championship until a 6-over 76 derailed his chances.

Thomas has only a missed cut and a 20th last week in Canada upon returning to the tour from a sixweek lay-off nursing a wrist injury. However, there are signs he’s about to return to form. JT ranks first in Birdie Average, second in Scoring Average, fourth in Greens in Regulation, fifth in SG: Tee to Green, seventh in SG: Approach the Green, ninth in SG: Around the Green. Remember last year’s U.S. Open winner, Brooks Koepka, only played a handful of events after missing four months.

Day has not been in his usual form this season as his OWGR has slipped to 16 after finishing last season in the Top 10. However, a return to Pebble Beach can jumpstart his season. He has finished sixth or better in five of his past seven trips here for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Scott isn’t exactly a course form guy here considering his best finish is a 52nd at the 2010 U.S. Open and has MC’d the past three times here for the Pro-Am. Nevertheless, a runner-up at the Memorial and an eighth at the PGA has shown this guy has found his game again.

When it comes to Tee to Green, it gets no better than Matsuyama (third in the category). In spite of his long-term shaky putting, he’s actually not bad around the green where he ranks 10th in SG: Around the Green and 11th in Scrambling.

Sneds is a horse for course here with two wins on this track and looks to be peaking at the right time with a T4 last week in Canada. He’s also been swinging it better since reuniting with old swing coach Todd Anderson and we know he’s always been good around the greens (currently second SG: Around the Green, eighth SG: Putting, 9th Sand Saves). Stenson comes off his best finish of the season last week with a T8 in Canada. With “Old Trusty,” his 3-wood, in the bag, Stenson is ranked No. 1 SG: Approach the Green and sixth in Driving Accuracy, which should prove beneficial with the traditional U.S. Open high and thick rough back this week.

Grace shot a 67 earlier this year at the AT&T and takes a liking to coastal golf (former winner at RBC Heritage). He has shown the game to contend in a U.S. Open with Top 5s at Chambers Bay and Oakmont, respectively.

Walker missed the cut here earlier this year but does have a win here in 2014 and four other top 10s dating back to 2011.

Willett comes in with some momentum having earned his best finish of the season last week with a T8 in Canada.

TOP 20 FINISH

• Viktor Hovland 850

• Clement Sordet 2500

The 2018 U.S. Amateur champion, right here at Pebble Beach, is turning professional next week at the Travelers Championship, but first looks like a candidate to go well here where he’s had past success. Hovland also may have extra motivation to get out there again after his Oklahoma State team, despite winning the stroke play by 31 shots, was upset in the semifinals of the match play by Texas.

The Frenchman Sordet, who played collegiately at Texas Tech, birdied his last six holes at the sectional qualifier to earn a spot here. He also has a win on this course. No, it’s not the AT&T, but the 2011 Carmel Cup when he was playing at Tech.

TOP ENGLISHMAN

• Tyrell Hatton 1100

• Danny Willett 1200

Obviously, Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood top the market here but there’s good value beneath with these two. Paul Casey is outspoken as not taking a liking to Pebble Beach. Ian Poulter has cooled off from a hot start in early 2019 and Matt Wallace just looks a bit overpriced. Hatton has made six straight cuts, including two top 10s in the Dell Match Play and at Colonial. He had two Top 10s in majors last season (6th U.S. Open, 10th PGA). He also is a two-time winner at the Dunhill Links Championship, which is a similar format to the AT&T at Pebble Beach, so he definitely has shown his mettle playing golf on the coast.

TOP SPANIARD

• Jon Rahm -140

He is in bad form by his standards in spite of winning about six weeks ago in New Orleans partnered with Ryan Palmer. He missed the cut at the PGA and then the following week at Colonial but a couple weeks off might be good for him. Rahmbo has won a PGA Tour event in each of the last two calendar years in California and the Arizona State product has a lot of experience and a proven affinity for winning golf in the Golden State. Sergio hasn’t played here since the 2010 U.S. Open and Rafa Cabrera-Bello’s best finish here is 22nd.

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