The West Coast Swing continues this week with a stop that needs no introduction: the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
What was born decades back as Bing Crosby’s Clambake lives on today as part competition, part cocktail party, with Bill Murray as leading man, and a supporting cast of celebrities and Tour pros.
Daniel Berger is the defending champ, and he’s in the field again. But he’s not the odds-on favorite. That designation goes to Patrick Cantlay, who sits atop the betting board, just ahead of Berger, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Cameron Tringale and Justin Rose.
The tournament plays on a three-course rota, with Spyglass Hill and the Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore) in the mix over the first two days. On Saturday and Sunday, the entire field plays on Pebble only.
The current weather forecast calls for partly cloudy to sunny skies this weekend, with temperatures in the mid-60s. Scores should get into that range, too.
But who will shoot some of the lowest numbers?
For those predictions, we turn to Erick Lindgren, GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator. The terms are the same as ever: we give Lindgren a $1,000 gambling budget (just play money), and he supplies us with his five top picks. Here are Lindgren’s wagers for the event, which kicks off Thursday morning in Monterey.
(Looking to play any of these bets yourself? We teamed with BetMGM and the online sports book is offering a Risk-Free Bet of up to $1,000).
Jordan Spieth to win: +2,000 (wager: $200)
Lindgren was among the first last year to go all in on Spieth’s resurgence, and a T3 at Pebble was where the resurgent play began. “There are courses and events where Jordan should not be a ‘dog to anyone,” Lindgren says. “Pebble is one of those.”
Jason Day to win: +1,500 (wager: $150)
“Jason’s history here is simply too good to ignore,” says Lindgren, who also likes what he saw out of Day last week at Torrey Pines. The back pain is gone (for now, anyway), and Day’s stellar short remains intact. “Let’s ride his good health, hot hand and history here,” Lindgren says.
Nick Taylor, Top 5: +1,400 (wager: $250)
It seems like another lifetime now, but it was just two years ago that Taylor held off a fast-charging Phil Mickelson and won by four shots in this event. “His game is starting to percolate, which matches up with love for this tournament,” Lindgren says.
Nate Lashley, Top 10: +2,200 (wager: $200)
Lindgren is a banking on a repeat performance out of Lashley, who opened with six straight birdies on Pebble last year for an opening round 65. Even with a final-round triple bogey, Lashley finished T5. “I look for spots to back Nate, and this is definitely a good one,” Lindgren says.
Sahith Theegala, Top 5: +1,600 (wager: $200)
Theegala’s stock has been on the rise, but Lindgren still sees him as a great value. “This is a bet on talent, trying to get in early on him,” Lindgren says.