The 75th anniversary of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will be celebrated without the attribute that separates it from every other event on the PGA TOUR. The traditional format where each professional is paired with an amateur partner has been scrapped due to COVID-19 concerns.
There are a few other tournaments where there are amateurs present during the first three rounds, but for those events, the final day is left for the professionals to compete. At the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a champion Pro-Am team isn’t determined until after Sunday’s final round, when the top 30 pairs are in action.
The other change for 2021 will be that the event will be contested over two courses instead of three. The first full 156-player field of the calendar year will take place over the Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course, both par-72 layouts.
The Shore Course at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club will rejoin the rotation in 2022 along with the amateurs.
The tournament tends to favor players who are comfortable with both the courses and the format. The elimination of the easiest of the three courses should have a significant effect on scoring.
Spyglass Hill, while it doesn’t get much attention, is a very difficult track, even for professionals. The lack of distractions from both the galleries and the amateurs could open the door for a new face to contend.
With Johnson out of the field, Patrick Cantlay now comes in as the favorite. He is listed at +750. Cantlay has not played in an event since his 2nd place finish at The American Express back in January.
Favorites to Bet On
The top-ranked player in the world, Dustin Johnson who won last week’s European Tour Saudi International by two shots was the favorite to win this event. Monday night, news came out that Johnson has now withdrawn from competition. Several other PGA Tour players made the trip to the Saudi International, including Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau, who failed to hold a late lead.
With Johnson out of the field, Patrick Cantlay now comes in as the favorite. He is listed at +750. Cantlay has not played in an event since his 2nd place finish at The American Express back in January. Much of his success came in the final round, where he carded a 61. Cantlay also finished 13th at the Tournament of Champions.
Forty-three-year-old Englishman Paul Casey won the Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago and finished tied for 12th at the Saudi International. He has odds of +2000 this week and some recent success in the tournament. Casey didn’t play in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am until 2018, finishing tied for eighth in his first try.
In 2019 he finished in second place, three shots behind Phil Mickelson, after holding a three-stroke lead after three rounds. The affable and popular Casey has three PGA Tour victories and 13 wins on the European Tour. His best 2021 finish was a tie for eighth at The American Express.
Daniel Berger barely missed the cut at last week’s Waste Management Open after two top 10 finishes. In 2020, the 27-year-old out of Florida State had a win at the Charles Schwab and three other top five finishes, including the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where he came in tied for fifth.
The Charles Schwab was Berger’s third Tour win, and he went on to finish 15th in the FedEx Cup in 2020. He has odds of +4000 to win, which doesn’t seem like favorite status, but he’s 10th on the list in a 156-player field.
Jordan Spieth, who flirted at the top of the leaderboard last week is 6th on the list, as he comes in at +2200.