Phil Mickelson defends and headlines the field following his success last week and alongside Dustin Johnson - who boasts a tremendous record here - dominates the AT & T Pebble Beach market, with both players trading in single figures. I've struggled to find any real standout candidates this week at backable prices and value is thin but six places with Betfair fixed odds offers some appeal.
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It's a pro-am format at the AT & T Pebble Beach National with players rotating through Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula, all courses playing sub 7,000 yards. As usual with pro-am formats they suit certain people more than others and can bring out the best (or worst) in a player. In 2011 eventual winner DA Points teamed up with the character that is Bill Murray and revealed that the relaxed atmosphere playing with the actor spurred him on to victory so it's always worth noting the partnerships. Wind, as usual, is expected to be a factor around Pebble Beach golf links...
AT & T Pebble Beach National Picks- Follow me on Twitter: @Nicspicks
Pick #1: 1.5u ew Padraig Harrington @ 28/1 (BFO) The word Harrington used to describe himself last week was rusty but mentioned that his trip to Phoenix was great prep for this week and that he's now in a good frame of mind before he once again teams up with JP McManus for the pro-am event. Having recorded multiple top 25s at Pebble Beach including at the 2010 US Open, Harrington managed a top ten last week despite his 'rustiness' and could be set to feature again this week. If the wind gets up the multiple Open champion will have an advantage on the majority of the field. T7 here at Pebble last year.
Pick #2: 1u ew Tim Clark @ 35/1 (BFO) has some notable course form at Pebble Beach with a missed cut splitting a handful of top 10 and 20 finishes. T12 at the US Open here in 2010, Clark is feeling his way into the season with a second place finish already posted at the Sony Open. Top 50 in Phoenix last week with three rounds in the sixties, Clark will find the length of the courses this week more to his liking and with his accuracy from tee to green, should fare well if he gets the putter working.
Pick #3: 1u ew Steve Marino is back on the scene following awful injury trouble and the birdie machine just loves this event. Held the third round lead back in 2010 and posted consecutive top fives in 2010/11 here. Topped the total birdies made stat when peaking back in 2008 and ranks 2nd in putting from 5-15' already in 2013. Marino comes into the AT & T Pebble Beach National off the back of a top 15 in his last start at Torrey and loves to fire at pins. 60s with BFO on the email.
Pick #4: 1u ew Charlie Wi @ 70/1 (BFO) Opened with a 61 here last year at the Shore Course and went on to lead after three rounds. Nerves got the better of him on Sunday as he opened with double at Pebble and was + 4 thru 8 but managed to get back to even and post a second place finish. Wi is a very underrated player who can go low as demonstrated once again with a R2 63 last week. He looked very strong here last year for the most part and can contend again.
Pick #5: 0.5u ew Bob Estes @ 150/1 (Coral) The kind of event id expect someone like Estes to thrive in and indeed his course form here reads 4/ 16 / 15 if we exclude the US Open. The courses are likely to set up with very accessible pin positions to suit the amateurs and this will benefit those players who can excel with the flat stick. Estes posted a T16 at Humana - a not too dissimilar event to Pebble Beach.
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