FanDuel PGA Preview: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am
FanDuel is offering a nice selection of contests this week for the Bill Murray Invitational … oops, I mean the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. There are some marquee golfers teeing it up this week so you will have lots of options available as you construct rosters. There are eight golfers priced at $11,000 or higher with Dustin Johnson being the highest priced golfer at $12,4000. Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood are the next highest at $11,700 and $11,500, respectively.
This course is beautiful and has a long and storied tradition. In fact, it will play host to the U.S. Open in June. Though it is always advisable to have all six of your golfers make the cut, because each of the golfers play three rounds before the cut, it is not as detrimental this week if it doesn’t happen. It is conceivable that guys missing the cut could score more than a guy making the cut but finishing toward the bottom. This means you can take a slightly more aggressive stance this week with your lineups.
All of the plays that I mention in this article are plays that I will be considering for my lineups. That doesn’t mean that I will end up with all of the guys that I mention. Additional news, research, and roster construction may lead me to different plays. Realize that golf is the DFS sport that probably has the most variance from week to week. Anyone can miss a cut and anyone can finish in the top five (or even win). Remember to check the news and social media reports leading up to the first golfer teeing off. Though golf is more difficult to get injury news, you might be able to pick up a nugget or two that helps with roster construction – especially when dealing with possible withdrawals. Have a solid process and use all the information available to you to make the best decision possible for your lineup. Good luck and have fun!
The event has been played at Pebble Beach since 1947 and used to be known as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am.
It is played on three different courses (Monterrey Penisula, Spyglass Hill, and Pebble Beach) with each golfer playing a round on a different course. All the courses measure less than 7,000 yards and have tiny-to-below average-sized greens.
156 PGA golfers will play 54-holes (three days) with amateurs and celebrities. After Saturday, the top 60 golfers (plus ties) will advance to Sunday and play Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The Par 3, seventh hole is the shortest hole on the PGA Tour measuring just 106 yards. Interesting fact (courtesy of Pat Mayo) is that Nick Watney has the most birdies on this hole since 2003.
The average winning score has been 17-below par and the average cutline has been even par.
Previous winners of the event that are scheduled to play this week include Ted Potter, Jr. (2018), Jordan Spieth (2017), Vaughn Taylor (2016), Brandt Snedeker (2015, 2013), Jimmy Walker (2014), Phil Mickelson (2012, 2007, 2005, 1998), D.A. Points (2011), Dustin Johnson (2010, 2009), and Davis Love III (2003, 2001).
Larry Fitzgerald and Kevin Streelman won the 2018 amateur team championship. They happen to be members of the same golf club in Phoenix, Arizona, and their score was the third-lowest score in tournament history.
Pebble Beach is located on the Monterey Peninsula and is susceptible to unpredictable winds. There is some question about the weather, in general, this week, so you’ll want to pay attention to that as tee time approaches.
Matt Kuchar ($11,400)
He has two wins in his last four events. Throw in his T4 this past weekend at the Waste Management and that makes Kuuuuuuuuuuch arguably the hottest player on the PGA Tour.
Brandt Snedeker ($10,900)
Nobody in the field has made more consecutive cuts coming into the week than Snedeker’s 13. His recent form isn’t spectacular, but he is consistent. During that 13-event streak, he has three top-10 finishes, shot a 59, and earned a win. As a side note, he is a two-time winner at Pebble Beach.
Chez Reavie ($10,500)
He has a streak of 10 consecutive cuts, which includes three top-seven finishes. He recently finished T3 at the Sony Open and T4 at the Waste Management this past weekend. By the way, he finished T2 at this tournament last year.
Dustin Johnson ($12,400)
Are four top-four finishes in the last five years good? Just asking for a friend.
Jason Day ($11,700)
He’s no DJ, but Jason Day has a remarkable history at Pebble Beach. He has three top-five finishes in the last four years. The only hiccup in that four-year stretch was an 11th place finish in 2016. Overall, he has made all nine cuts with five top-five finishes here at Pebble Beach.
Jordan Spieth ($10,800)
The 2017 winner has made the cut in each of the six times that he has teed it up in this event. His worst finish was 22nd in his inaugural appearance. He has three top-seven finishes.
Jimmy Walker ($8,900)
His eighth-place finish last year gave him six top-11 finishes in the last eight years. In total, he has made the cut in nine of his 11 starts.
The greens at Pebble Beach are Poa and if you are looking for a player that might get hot with the putter on this surface then you might consider Jason Day ($11,700), Adam Hadwin ($10,300), Martin Laird ($9,800), Alex Cjeka ($7,200), and Michael Kim ($7,100). They are the hottest putters on Poa greens in the last 12 rounds of play.
Because of the shortness of the courses, strong iron play is important. Length is always a bonus but is not necessary at Pebble Beach. When looking at Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking in the last 12 and 36 rounds, there are only three golfers ranked in the top-10 for both time periods: Dustin Johnson ($12,400), Patrick Cantlay ($11,000), and Corey Conners ($8,500).
The fairways are fairly generous on all three courses this week, but the greens are well below the tour average for size. There is a strong correlation between hitting greens in regulation and success at this event. There are five guys that have shown consistency at hitting greens in regulation lately. Tommy Fleetwood ($11,500), Branden Grace ($10,400), Shane Lowry ($10,000), and Corey Conners ($8,500) are ranked in the top-10 in GIR for both the last 12 and 36 rounds.
Dustin Johnson ($12,400)
I am not going to overthink this one. He’s arguably the best player in the world (regardless of what the rankings might say). His game has no weaknesses. He loves this course and has some crazy history here. He has won this event twice and has seven top-five finishes. He also just won last week in Saudi Arabia against a very strong field in the European Tour event. I am not against Jason Day or going back to Tony Finau after his surprising MC last week, but I believe DJ is going to win and I want the winner in my lineup.
Sungjae Im ($9,300)
He came into this year with a decent amount of fanfare as a result of his Web.com success and hasn’t disappointed on the PGA Tour thus far. He started off the 2019 season with a T4 at the Safeway Open. In total, he has made the cut in eight of his 10 events during the 2019 season. He has five top-16 finishes, including last week’s T7 at the Waste Management. Over on DraftKings, he is priced at the average roster spot, so you are getting value here on FanDuel.
Trey Mullinax ($8,000)
He is trending upwards as he has improved his finishing position in each of his last five events, culminating with a T15 this past week at the Waste Management Open. He is a player that can go low on any given day. He has played this event twice finishing 47th last year and 14th in 2017.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Chez Reavie ($10,500)
First of all, I am a huge fan of Chez Reavie. I play him a lot, and he has been playing very well in 2019 so this seems almost sacrilegious for me to mention him here. However, his ownership is expected to be through the roof this week. Chez Reavie chalk week is something you don’t want to get caught up in. Dustin Johnson chalk week can still be profitable and even if he fails, he gets you a top-15 instead of a win. Chez Reavie failing is a missed cut. Last year he went a stretch of missing six of seven cuts. Yes, that was last year, and this is a new year, but the reality is that he is not a sure thing. Golf has a ton of variance and ownership is very important unless you have the winner (which, if you remember, is going to be DJ this week). Chez is fine in cash games and I’ll be rooting for him hard, but I do think being one of the top-owned players in GPPs is going to cause me to think long and hard before clicking on his name.
Jamy Bechler is a regular contributor to FantasyPros for NBA, NFL, and PGA. You can follow him on his DFS twitter @WinningDFS101. When he is not playing DFS, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and is a leadership trainer, working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommends.