2015 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Picks + Predictions, Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #6HourDeathMarch

The PGA Tour treks northward up the Cali coast for this week’s tourney—the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.  So yeah, time for some bumpy poa greens, excessive celebrity divot-taking and 6-hour death-march rounds, woohoo!  Ok yes, perhaps a little harsh, but frankly the Saturday “celebrity day” round where the Tour gets all giddy about Bill Murray, Ray Romano, Maury Povich and some other wankers playing Pebble Beach that they forget that there’s a real golf tournament going on in the background drives me crazy!  That and the fact that they are love to cut to commercials after every three live shots that they actually show.  Alas, it’s a PGA Tour event and hey, the views are incredible.

For those that aren’t aware, it may be called the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, but the tourney is actually played on three different courses—Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterrey Peninsula CC. Pebble and Spyglass each play to a par of 72, while Monterrey plays to a par 70.  Spyglass annually plays as the toughest of the trio in relation to par, with Pebble playing as the easiest, although the stroke averages among the three really don’t differ too greatly—nothing even close to the vast difference of last week between Torrey Pines North and South courses.  Each course has notoriously small greens, particularly Pebble, with greens averaging a mere 3,500 square feet putting fairways hit and GIR at a real premium.

Always nice to have one of my picks take home the trophy, as my LOCKZILLA Jason Day did just that last week at Torrey Pines.  I also spot on nailed previously red hot kid-wonder Justin Thomas in correctly predicting his MC.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Day WINNER, Woodland t-45th)

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson
– DJ let me down as my Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week last week, but have no fear, that just means that he’ll be even more under-the-radar from the masses this week.  He’s a two-time champ at this event with his first event back from his suspension “layoff” done and over with, so the rust has been shaken and he’s primed for some serious red numbers.  Some say playing with his father-in-law in the Pro-Am portion of the event is a distraction, I say all that means is Wayne will be dishing out high fives all weekend long.  Ride DJ this week, and thank me later.

Graham DeLaet
Graham DeLaet
– Graham WD’d at Torrey Pines last week due to the flu, and as usually happens most people will bypass his name this week simply because he didn’t tee it up last week.  Other than pissing off some Toronto Maple Leafs fans, I’m guessing the downtime was good for him and allowed him to come into this week raring to go.  Despite only having two prior appearances in this event (1/2 on cuts made), I’m predicting that the best player on Tour without a victory will continue his current strong form (t-7th in Phoenix two weeks ago) will contend again this week.  Since putting is the weakest point of his game, I feel like the poa greens will level the playing field somewhat this week, and play right into an advantage for GDL.

SEMI-FLIER (DeLaet WD’d before tourney started due to illness)

Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry
– The young Irishman notched a mighty solid t-7th last week at Torrey Pines, capped by a 68 on Sunday.  His experience playing in the States is limited; however, all the better when he’s in form like this, as a sleeper du jour he certainly is.  He’s ranked number 40 in the OWGR for a reason, and I’m telling you now that he will burst into the winner’s circle sooner than later on U.S. soil.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Thomas MC)

Ryan Palmer
Ryan Palmer
– Last week I spot on nailed previously red hot kid-wonder Justin Thomas in this spot to miss the cut and whoa, I’m going bold with my BUST prediction again this week in calling for previously smokin’ hot Ryan Palmer to have Sunday off.  T-17th at the Sony, t-10th at the Humana and a t-2nd in Phoenix and Palmer is clearly in good form at the moment; however, I strongly dislike his game this week for two reasons (well, they’re really two of the same).  First, his notoriously quick pace of play strongly clashes with the extremely slow pace-of-play that this tournament gives each and every year.  Trust me folks, when waiting constantly on each and every shot for 3 straight rounds, it takes a toll on you mentally, regardless of how good of form a player is in at the time.  Second, his track record here is weak given his overall talent: Just 6/9 in cuts made with his best ever finish being a lowly t-23rd way back in ’06.  Frankly, I’m surprised that he still continues to play this event nearly every season.  Steer clear of Ryno this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (DJ MC)

James Hahn
James Hahn
– The man currently still best known for his Gangham Style dance on #16 at TPC Scottsdale a couple years back has been playing some steady golf of late, making 6 of his last 7 cuts this season, including the last four in a row.  Most people will not remember this, but after that Gangham style dance James finished t-3rd here at Pebble, his best ever PGA Tour finish.  He did miss the cut here last year (he opened 69-72 and blew up to an 81 in round 3), but with steady play of late and good vibes from two years ago I’m predicting a sneaky solid top 10 finish from James this week.  James Hahn is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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