Many of the top players on Tour are on hand for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this weekend, teeing off from the California coast Thursday morning. You have plenty of ways to go when constructing your roster, so here are a few names to consider as you get started.
Jordan Spieth ($12,000) – He has played here four times and never missed a cut, finishing inside the top-ten twice, more than enough to prove that he is comfortable with both the course and the format, important on a weekend where celebrities are playing alongside the pros and the course changes every day. He also has a T3, solo-3rd and T9 in his three 2017 starts, picking up right where he left off after a stellar fall. With 70 birdies and eagles against just 18 bogeys and doubles over that stretch, he is clearly a top option this week.
Jon Rahm ($9,600) – He’s just impossible to ignore. He might be getting to a price point where it’s hard to imagine paying up for him instead of someone with the pedigree of a Justin Rose (more below), but Rahm is one of those players who, when he plays well, isn’t just a great real-life player – he’s the perfect fantasy option. When he is hot, he is a birdie-making machine, as evidenced by his career birdie-or-better % that was better than the number Dustin Johnson put up last season.
Phil Mickelson ($9,300) – With four wins, and as the all-time money leader at this tournament, Phil has basically cemented himself as the best player ever in this tournament. But when a player is at his age, all of that is sometimes moot, except for two things: he finished second here as recently as last year, and he has been no worse than T21 in any of the last three weeks.
Justin Rose ($9,200) – This is only his second appearance here, and while it’ll be tough, he arrives looking to improve on his T6 showing from last year. His last two outings were a solo-2nd at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and a T4 two weeks ago at the Farmers. He has one of the most consistent approaches on Tour in terms of his ball-striking from the tee and off the fairways (5th in both Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and Tee-to-Green last season) and those skill-sets play very well on these courses. His success here last season was no fluke.
J.B. Holmes ($8,400) – He has placed inside the top-20 here five times, and will be looking for another one this week to continue a run of very solid play to open up 2017. He has ended up T33 and T24 each of the last two weeks, and he has earned those by ringing up 42 birdies over the span. He’s obviously offsetting some of those with some bad holes, but that many birdies and made cuts makes for a solid fantasy contributor regardless, as he’s proven with a 81.0 fantasy scoring average over the two weekends.
J.J. Spaun ($7,900) – He has been inside the top ten in each of the last two weeks, with a T9 at the Farmers and T2 last weekend. He has done it, both weeks, with a red-hot putter. The 26-year-old finished last season with a big negative number for Strokes Gained: Putting, but last weekend, for example, he was top-ten in the field in that category and putts per Greens in Regulation. If he has found a new putting stroke that will serve him well, he’s not only worth considering this weekend – he will be on your radar all season long.
Jim Furyk ($7,500) – An all-time great track record here, he has played this tournament 19 times, and he has failed to make the cut just twice. He’s been inside the top ten here a handful of times, most recently with a T7 in 2015. We haven’t seen him since the RSM Classic in Georgia back in November, when he finished T6. That long break, for me, makes him much more of a GPP play than a cash-game option, but the potential upside is there for someone who could go overlooked.
Adam Hadwin ($7,300) – His T12 last weekend at the Waste Management Phoenix Open was only his second-best performance of the past three weeks, as he recorded a solo-2nd at the CareerBuilder Challenge. The fact that he showed an ability to thrive there – another Pro-Am – also seems relevant, as the slower pace of play and more raucous atmosphere can sometimes throw the pros off their game.
Shane Lowry ($7,000) – He hit over 80% of Greens in Regulation last weekend en route to a T16 in Phoenix, a weekend highlighted by a 66 on Saturday. The courses this weekend, especially Pebble Beach itself, feature some small hidden greens, so a player’s control of his irons and ball placement off the tee will go a long way towards determining if there are any scoring opportunities to be had.
Vaughn Taylor ($6,900) – He is the returning champ, so he almost had to be mentioned here, but it actually is more than just one good performance last year – he was also T10 here in 2015, and is looking to make it three solid performances in a row. Considering that he is also on a run of nine straight made cuts and has only one round over par in his last twelve, he seems to be playing well enough right now to make his past performances here relevant.
Steve Stricker ($6,600) – Stricker has only teed it up once since the Deutsche Bank Championship last fall, and it was just last weekend in Phoenix. He finished T42, only holing 11 birdies on the weekend, perhaps to be expected after the long layoff. But he made the cut by virtue of only having five birdies through four rounds, which speaks to some level of consistency with his ball-striking and his putting, despite the lack of scoring. You don’t find too many players with his upside in this price range, making him worth consideration.
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