3 – Oh, the Pro-Am. Some people see it as an opportunity to see the world’s best players take on the single, most iconic and breathtaking course in the world. Others, like me, see it as another opportunity to be tortured by Chris Berman. It’s bad enough that I have to avoid EPSN Sunday Morning Countdown and mute all MLB All Star Game coverage, but now the AT&T is becoming close to unwatchable. Look, I love Bill Murray like everyone else, but I’m sure the pro lining up his 11 foot birdie putt doesn’t really appreciate the show he’s putting on for the crowd.
The AT&T isn’t just a Pebble Beach tourney. It’s played on 3 courses, and the cut is after 3 rounds. Should this really factor into your decision-making this week, no, but also something to consider. A lot of experts are using history at Pebble, and specifically results from the 2010 U.S. Open, but tread carefully. First, the U.S. Open conditions were much different than the setup at Pebble this week, and again, only 2 rounds.
I think what’s more important is experience. This event is different and you need a guy with a personality like “Rusty” in Oceans 11 when he was attempting to teach a bunch of idiot celebrities how to play poker. You need a Brad Pitt and George Clooney-like cool in this event or you could turn into Adam Sandler and Bob Barker. Now, don’t get me wrong, if someone put a beat down on Boomer I think we’d just give the man the winner’s check and call it a tourney—and probably a parade and thanks on behalf of a grateful nation planet, but just in case that doesn’t happen, here are my picks.
WINNER: Hunter Mahan. 15-1
Yes, I get it. He hates winning and I know the expert pickers are high on him, and I typically hate that but he’s played well at the AT&T (runner-up, T-15, T-16 in the last 3). Last trip he fired a 66 at Pebble on Thursday and closed with a 69 on Sunday. Also, his name is Hunter and seems like laid back guy, never too high, never too low. He always seems to play well on the West Coast and/or early in the year, so when you combine all the ingredients needed to win this even, I like him.
RUNNER-UP: Pat Perez 40-1
Let’s talk Pat Perez. He’s old but has rebranded himself this year with a T-8, T-2, and 11th last week at the Waste Management. Sure, the red flag and 40-1 odds are probably because of the way he closed with 70 and 71 over the weekend, but his short game will play at Pebble. He has experience at this tourney and I like the risk.
LONG SHOT: Kevin Na 50-1
If I had anything in my sack I’d take Na in my one-and-done pools, but I don’t. Na has a good history at the AT&T having finished T-22 last year and 5th in 2012. He missed most of last year due to a back injury but seems healthy after firing a 68-69 weekend to finish 19th in Phoenix. I like.
LONG SHOT: Bryce Molder 60-1
Give me Bryce. He was solid over the weekend in Phoenix with a T-29 finish and all 3 rounds under par. He also has an amazing record at the AT&T, finishing 12th last year with a final round 64. That was no fluke either because he was 6th in 2011 after a final round 74 and 10th in 2010. This also may be the hottest (please put ‘hottest’ in context because we’re talking about Bryce Molder) he’s been coming into this tourney because he’s 6 for 6 in cuts this season.