AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Bombs & Values

Bombs & Values: 5 Best Value Plays For Your DFS Lineups and Betting Cards at the 2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

I decided to watch the Super Bowl in lieu of writing a Waste Management Phoenix Open recap post. Sue me! But I’ll quickly summarize here before we get to the good stuff.

As I documented on Twitter, my conviction plays have been one week too early two weeks in a row now, as Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepke have each followed up MC’s when I’ve backed them only to win the very next week. The good news is we’re close, and have now cracked the formula to know that Daniel Berger will inevitably win this tournament, after letting me down with a MC last week. I don’t think it’s random that for two weeks in a row, an elite golfer missed a cut, got two extra days to work out the kinks, and then came back the next week with something to prove.

Although it may be a foregone conclusion that Daniel Berger wins this tournament according to this prophecy, there’s still 5 other players you need to fill out the rest of your DFS lineup with, so that’s where these Values are going to come in handy. And all jokes aside, few tournaments have produced more random winners than the AT&T Pro Am. Listen to this list of winners over the last decade: Nick Taylor, Ted Potter Jr, Vaughn Taylor, Jimmy Walker, D.A. Points. This is the tournament you want exposure to some longshot bombs. This is the article you need to read before hoisting said bombs. And away we go!

DFS Values

Pricing from Draft Kings

Doug Ghim ($7,500)

I will admit I have actively dodged the #GhimReaper hype parade until now. I watch as much golf as the PGA will allow me to (which admittedly is scarce), but in all the events I’ve watched, I’ve still never seen the guy hit a shot. He doesn’t even have a picture on Draft Kings. I have no idea who he is, so I’m quite literally following the stats blindly this week.

If you’ve read my articles before, you know I always identify my Key Stat Categories before each Tournament, then whittle down the Field to see who ranks better than average in each category in order to refine a short list of reliable contenders each week. This week Doug Ghim was amongst the only 5 to check every box. Those boxes include SG: T2G (7), SG: Short Game (14), SG: APP (6), SG: P (48), Fairways Gained (34), and GIRs Gained (21). I could have also refined that criteria to include Birdies or Better Gained, where he also ranks #3 in the Field.

His Course History isn’t great, but he comes into this week hotter than ever before, with 4 T25s and only 1 MC in his last 7 events.

Chez Reavie ($7,500)

To hell with all the AT&T Pro-Am history. What if we just looked at results from the 2019 US Open? That was the last time we saw 3+ rounds of a tournament at Pebble Beach. Well surprise surprise, Chez Reavie was #1 in this field in SG: Total and SG:T2G at the 2019 US Open where he finished 3rd behind Gary Woodland and Brooks Koepke. The field and layout of the course this week compared to that US Open, to put it kindly, does not compare, so if Chez was able to have success then, why not now?

SG: APP is especially important this week and he ranks 4th in this field in that category over the last 24 rounds. He’s also 13th in the Field T2G, thanks to some recent improvements ARG where he ranks 66th. He also ranks 16th in Fairways Gained, 2nd in Opportunities Gained, and 2nd in Total Proximity. He’s strong in Proximity specifically in the two key ranges: 100-125 (23rd) and 200+ (22nd).

The opportunities are going to be there for Chez, he just needs to get a hot putter on a track where success is familiar. Hopefully that isn’t asking for too much.

Harold Varner III ($7,700)

I really like HVIII. A couple years ago, I used to always start my DFS lineups with Abraham Ancer and HVIII in the $6K range. While it’s been fun to watch Abe grow up in front of my eyes, I’m still left hoping Harold can find it in him to make the same leap.

As always, it’s going to come down to Putting with him, but I’m willing to write him up now because I’ve seen his Putting ranks rise to “Average” over the last 24 rounds, ranking 75th. When you combine that with his #3 T2G, #5 APP, and #6 ARG ranks, it starts to paint a pretty picture. When you look at how his recent game profiles, it’s actually almost identical to Si Woo Kim, who’s priced $1,700 higher this week.

Coming off a really strong T13 last week at the WMPO, I’ll likely find HVIII in my lineups, clinging onto the hope that his putting can remain average.

Peter Malnati ($7,800)

I’m not saying I’ve jumped ship on the Sebastian Munoz FRL train after his consecutive First Round Last place efforts, but what I am saying is Peter Malnati is doing things on Thursdays that remind me of why I fell in love with Munoz in the first place. He’s shot an R1 66-or-better in 5 of his last 7 events. The man is birdie machine, ranking #1 in Birdie’s/Birdies or Better Gained. He also ranks #1 in SG: Putting (Total) and SG: Short Game in this Field over the last 24 rounds. But he’s not just getting it done around the greens, he’s also #21 in the Field T2G.

Oh by the way, he also finished T11 at this event last year. You’re going to need a great short game and plenty of Birdies to contend this week, so at $7,800, look no further than Peter Malnati, who rides in with some of the hottest recent form of his career.

Cameron Tringale ($8,500)

Cameron was swept into the Bermuda Tringale as far as I’ve been concerned since the Bermuda Championship last November. I had some great T Shirt ideas in mind and he couldn’t even make it to the weekend before that narrative was dead. Since then, he’s been on a redemption tour to gain back my trust and has made 5 consecutive cuts, including a T3 at the RSM and back to back Top-20 finishes at the Farmers and WMPO.

He’s clicking in all facets of his game right now, but over the course of his career, he has always fared best on Poa tracks, which is encouraging the way he’s trending. He’s shown some consistently above-average performances at the AT&T Pro-Am in year’s past, making 6 of the last 7 cuts here.

As I love to point out, he ranks better than field average in all the key stat categories this week, highlighted by a #12 SG: Total rank, 14th in GIRs, and 26th Prox 100-125. His numbers won’t jump off the page, but versus a softer Field this week, being above-average across the board can jettison you to a T10 pretty quickly.

Betting Bombs

Note: This article was written prior to the Dustin Johnson WD news. Odds have been updated to reflect post-withdrawal lines.

Phil Mickelson (+5000)

This is an honorary bomb nod to the king of Bombs himself, Mr. Phil Mickelson. I rarely bet Phil because the public tends to inflate his betting odds below value, but he’s been so mediocre on the non-Champions Tour for so long now, I think the native Californian who holds the keys to Pebble Beach may go overlooked.

If you didn’t know, here is every finish Phil Mickelson has had at the AT&T Pro-Am for the last 10 years: 3, 1, 2, 65, 2, 19, 60, 1, 9, 8.

2 wins, 7 T10s, 0 MCs. Sure, he’s not playing his best golf right now, but if the narrative this week is to play veterans who know where to set up their approaches and excel around the greens, then we need to give a serious look at Phil who’s been consistently waxing the other wily veterans in this Field on the Champions Tour.

Maverick McNealy (+10000)

It’s a really tricky week to handicap Putting. Poa is a pretty rare grass type on the PGA Tour, so getting statistically significant Poa results requires a several-year lookback. We can’t look at putting history at this event either, as 2/3 of the courses in usual rotation here do not feature ShotLink SG data. If we look at recent putting form, it’s going to skew towards Bermuda results, which are decidedly different than the greens players will face at Pebble Beach. So I decided to look at a weighted blend of all three – Poa, Pebble Beach, and Total Recent Putting – to find the best Putter for this Field.

And you guessed it, Maverick McNealy emerged as the #1 Putter for this Field, edging out Brandt Snedeker as a close 2nd. McNealy was the only player in this Field to Rank T10 in Poa, Pebble Beach, and Total categories, which makes me feel less apprehensive about the uncertainty behind handicapping these greens.

So great, Maverick McNealy can putt, that’s not much of a revelation right? Well, he also finished T5 at this event last year, where he gained 2.5 Strokes T2G. The recent form hasn’t been great, but he’s a Poa specialist, and if you can successfully navigate Pebble Beach once, history has shown you’re bound to do it again!

Michael Thompson (+10000)

This is a scary thing for me to say, because my conviction plays have been a kiss of death in weeks past, but of all the players I’m writing up in this article, Michael Thompson pops to me as the best value. I love him at this price with a chance to win, and love him in the low-$7K range in DFS.

At the WMPO last week, he had an uncharacteristically poor Putting display and missed the cut despite gaining 2 strokes T2G. He came into the event quietly riding 4 consecutive T25 finishes, including a T5 at The AmEx. Michael Thompson has a really strong Short Game, ranking 35th SG: Short Game and 10th SG: Putting coming into this event. His Achilles Heel has typically been his Driving OTT, but he seems to be turning a corner gaining strokes OTT in his last two outings. Being able to club down off the tee at Pebble Beach should help him continue his momentum and lean on his Around The Green strengths to score. He’s gained strokes on Approach and Short Game in each of the last 5 years at Pebble Beach, so if he really has turned a corner OTT, watch out.

Brandt Snedeker (+10000)

I liked Sneds as a bomb play at the Farmers due to his consistent course history, and although he didn’t win, he did make it safely through the cut at long odds. This week I’m going back to the Sneds well once again at another track he’s won multiple times. Compared to Torrey Pines though, Pebble Beach is a better fit for him, as it’s much shorter and levels the playing field off the tee to favor positional play. It’s similar, however, in that both feature small greens that are easy to miss and put an emphasis on putting and scrambling. If this becomes a Putting contest like it has in the past, you’re getting the Field’s #1 Putter on Poa. It’s no surprise he’s a great putter, but interestingly enough, he’s also 18th in Fairways Gained and #1 in Proximity 100-125 yards, the most important range for attacking Pebble Beach. Put that all together and it’s no surprise to see how Brandt Snedeker’s won here twice before already. At 100/1, I’ll roll the dice for a trifecta.

Vaughn Taylor (+25000)

Vaughn Taylor caught my eye at the Sony Open a few weeks back when he fired a 64-66 to launch himself up the leaderboard before drifting back to a still solid T25 finish. Okay fine I’ll be honest, he caught my attention because he was the only guy in the tournament that was putting with the flagstick in. Usually it takes a guy hacking out of the forest for me to relate to a professional golfer, but I became a Vaughn Taylor fan after that.

I’m interested in Vaughn Taylor because he won this event 5 years ago and is 250/1 to do it again this year. Although his recent results don’t jump off the page, he ranks out well in this week’s key stats. He’s #3 SG: P (Poa), #14 Opportunities Gained, #22 Fairways Gained, and #35 Scrambling. I don’t normally put a ton of stock behind Total Proximity rankings, but he happens to be #1 in that, #32 in Prox 100-125, and #9 Prox 200+.

So to recap, he’s won here before, he finds fairways, he’s #1 in hitting it close to the hole, and only 2 other people in this Field Putt better than him on these types of greens. At 250/1, just the Putting with the flagstick in part was enough for me, the rest is gravy.