2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

After a thrilling week in the AZ desert, the PGA Tour treks back to the Cali coast for this week’s tourney- the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.  So yeah, time for some bumpy poa annua greens, excessive celebrity hacking and 6-hour death-march rounds, woohoo!  Ok yeah, that may sound a little bit harsh, but nothing worse than having the most picturesque course on Tour completely ruined by Chris Berman, Ray Romano that sandbagger Maury Povich and other amateur chops hogging almost all of the tv airtime.  It’s not their fault that they suck at golf, but damnit CBS—just show so actual PGA Tour golf, would ya please!  Seriously, “celebrity day” Saturday at Pebble Beach is the worst day of the year to watch the PGA Tour on tv, hands down.  Ok, phew.  Rant. Over.

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 over the first three rounds—Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterrey Peninsula CC—with everyone surviving the 54 hole cut advancing to Sunday at Pebble Beach.

Pebble and Spyglass each play to a par of 72, while Monterrey plays to a par 71.  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 stroke average that we saw two weeks ago week between Torrey Pines North and South courses.  This week, 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.  And again, it’s poa greens this week folks, so anything can happen (especially with all of those celebrity footprints!)

My picks last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open were mighty solid, as Lockzilla Rickie Fowler was the playoff runner-up, Semi-Flier Webb Simpson finished t-14th and I kept my heater going with my Hosel-Rocket BUST pick of the week as I spot on nailed previously red hot David Lingmerth missing the cut.

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

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Fowler P2)

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson
– In his last 8 Pebble appearances, he has two victories, a t-2nd, t-4th, t-5th and a t-7th.  So yeah, DJ loves him some Pebble.  Oh yeah, with the fact that much of the media attention is being paid to Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Bubba + Justin Rose’s debuts, etc…he won’t be the center of attention this week, which is a good thing for him.  Plus, add in that DJ ballooned on Sunday at Torrey Pines to finish t-18th, despite playing well earlier in the week, means that he’ll be even lower owned than he should be.  Load up on some DJ this week and thank me later.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Webb t-14th)

Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry
– The burly long-bombing Irishman made his Pebble debut last year to the tune of a t-21st place finish.  He comes in on a heels of back-t0-back solid PGA Tour finishes, t-13th at Torrey Pines and t-6th last week in Phoenix.  Definitely one of the safest plays on the board this week not named Spieth or DJ, roll with Lowry with some extra confidence this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Lingmerth MC)

Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter
– The most overrated player in European Tour history is in his predictable and inevitable decline as the last time he posted a top 10 finish—either on the PGA or European Tours—was last May at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, when he finished t-5th.  Style meets zero substance.  I don’t care that it’s a Ryder Cup year (Poulter was atrocious in the last Ryder Cup in 2014 btw, don’t fool yourselves).  Maybe putting one-handed will help?  Sheesh, what a clown.  Stay away folks.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Kokrak MC)

James Hahn
James Hahn
– Hahn was the man to beat early on Saturday last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, before a stumble down to an eventual t-17th finish.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that he’s suddenly out of form, it happens, and he’s playing some solid golf of late.  The 34-year-old Phoenix resident and PXG staffer has become a very steady player, going all the way back to last September’s Deutsche Bank Championship since missing his last cut.  Funny enough, Hahn was actually my Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week last year here too, and ended up finishing t-29th.  Pebble was previously the site of his best ever PGA Tour finish (t-3rd in ’13) up until last year’s win at the Northern Trust Open and both his form and course history here make him an outstanding under-the-radar play, with huge upside this week.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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