Last week’s Farmers Insurance Open and Torrey Pines provided a tough test as it always does. Keegan Bradley was well in contention when selected at 66/1. Going for the par-5 18th in two, Bradley found the greenside bunker and was unable to get up and down for a bogey. With thicker rough than previous iterations and a bit of wind, a score of 13-under was enough for Max Homa to secure a two shot victory over our charge. That marks Homa’s 4th victory in his home state of California, where we remain for the 2023 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
It has been a fantastic start to 2023 for our selections, with at least one golfer finishing in the Top 5 or better at every tournament. The 2023 Pebble Beach Pro-Am presents another course rotation tournament with a 54 hole cut and a slew of celebrities playing alongside the professionals for the first 3 days of play.
2023 Pebble Beach Pro-Am Key Course Stats
The three courses presented this week are Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula, and Spyglass Hill. All the courses are short by PGA Tour standards, but cannot be overpowered due to the the unique topography along this stunning coastline.
Pebble Beach in particular, where two of the three rounds will be played for the 2023 Pebble Beach Pro-Am, requires players to play to a particular yardage perhaps more-so than any other course on Tour. This does see a significant increase in approach shots from 100-150 yards. The greens are also some of the smallest you will see all year, measuring in at just 3,000 sq ft on average. Putting and ATG are also significantly correlated with success.
Monterey Peninsula similarly also has a large emphasis on both approach, around the green, and putting. It will likely play the easiest of the courses on offer this week. It also has received a lot of rainfall in the past 6 weeks, meaning it may play a little softer than the course directors desire.
Spyglass Hill differs slightly, in that it still requires those three metrics but also sees an uptick in driving distance being a predictor of success. Given this represents only one course out of a possible four rounds, it is best to focus on the main metrics common across all courses. Find the fairway and hit a good wedge shot. If you miss the green, get up and down, otherwise make the putt.
The weather has been very changeable leading into the 2023 Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which comes as no surprise for a coastal course setup. Thursday presents as calm for most of the day. Some wind may arrive late afternoon. However, it is worth noting that given the courses in rotation that all the groups will tee-off within a 2 hour window. Even with longer rounds playing alongside amateurs, I don’t see the wind being a major factor unless it arrives significantly earlier than forecast.
Friday presents us with rain all day and some moderate gusts throughout the day. I’d prefer to be on either Monterey Peninsula or Spyglass Hill on this day. With Pebble Beach the most exposed, approaching those very small greens could prove difficult despite the rain softening the course.
Saturday is currently forecast to be overcast and reasonably calm, although winds and rain are expected in the evening. These should intensify into Sunday, leading to a forecast very high winds and rain for the final round. It could provide a dramatic end to the tournament.
As at previous course rotation tournaments, predicting the weather and best rotation to be on is a tough task. I suspect avoiding Pebble Beach on Friday is the best play. Beyond that, we would really be guessing to provide any firm advice of a strong preference either way.
David takes the WinDaily team international, joining the team from New Zealand and having grown up in Dubai.
It was whilst living in the Middle East where he first developed his love of golf whilst working at local DP World Tour events, getting inside the ropes with the world’s best, and being fortunate enough to be coached as a junior by elite instructor Justin Parsons. Despite having experience working in multiple other areas of the sports industry, golf remains his main passion.
David relies heavily on data, agronomy, topography, and meteorology in providing his analysis and betting tips as he deep dives into both the PGA and DP World Tour events.