2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter at Pebble Beach?

2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter at Pebble Beach? article feature image
Credit:

Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Dustin Johnson.

The PGA TOUR heads to Pebble Beach this week to play the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

There will not be a pro-am this week although the name remains. Removing the pro-am factor from the tournament will enable to the tournament to be played at two courses instead of the usual three. This should also create a much more enjoyable experience for viewers.

Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course will be the courses featured in the 2021 edition of the event.

The field this week is made up of 156 players including Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Daniel Berger, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, and Francesco Molinari.

Pebble Beach Golf Links is a par 72 measuring 6,828 yards and featuring Poa annua greens.

We’ve backtested past tournaments at Pebble Beach Golf Links to see which metrics matter most this week.

Past Winners at The Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-Am

  • 2020: Nick Taylor (-19)
  • 2019: Phil Mickelson (-19)
  • 2018: Ted Potter Jr. (-17)
  • 2017: Jordan Spieth (-19)
  • 2016: Vaughn Taylor (-17)
  • 2015: Brandt Snedeker (-22)

Let’s take a look at several metrics for Pebble Beach Golf Links to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds:

Strokes Gained: Approach

Unsurprisingly, approach grades out as the most important statistic for Pebble Beach.

A very short course, approaches to the green are understandably more indicative of success than smashing it off of the tee. With very small greens, Pebble Beach is undoubtedly a second-shot golf course.

Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:

  1. Dustin Johnson (+33.2) (+400)
  2. Will Zalatoris (+25.3) (+2800)
  3. Russel Knox (+20.5) (+8000)
  4. Chez Reavie (+19.6) (+20000)
  5. Matthew NeSmith (+16.0) (+10000)

SG: Total on Par 72’s under 7200 yards

Pebble Beach is uniquely short for a Par 72. This statistic will give a glimpse as to what kind of golfers play well on these types of courses.

SG: Total round in past 24 rounds:

  1. Jason Day (+45.9) (+3500)
  2. Patrick Cantlay (+38.5) (+1000) 
  3. Nick Taylor (+37.6) (+15000)
  4. Jordan Spieth (+34.5) (+3000)
  5. Dustin Johnson (+33.6) (+400)

Strokes Gained: Putting (Poa and Fast)

With the course being so short, one of its main defenses is its fast Poa annua greens. Strokes Gained: Putting has historically been extremely important here as evidenced by former winners (Spieth, Mickelson, Snedeker).

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SG: Putting (POA and Fast) last 24 rounds:

  1. Beau Hossler (+22.1) (+30000)
  2. Kevin Streelman (+19.7) (+5500)
  3. Luke Donald (+14.1) (+60000)
  4. Sangmoon Bae (+13.5) (+40000)
  5. Brian Harman (+13.1) (+7000)

Course History

Pebble Beach has historically been a specialist’s course.  Every winner of this event since 2006 has a top-21 finish in a previous appearance. 

Total Strokes Gained (Pebble Beach): Gained in past 24 rounds

  1. Dustin Johnson (+52.0) (+400)
  2. Phil Mickelson(+45.6) (+6600)
  3. J.B. Holmes (+37.8) (+40000)
  4. Kevin Streelman (+37.6) (+5500)
  5. Jason Day (+33.1) (+3500)

Birdies or Better Gained

With the winning score likely to get close to twenty under par, making birdies is a must this week.

B.O.B. gained: past 24 rounds

  1. Peter Malnati (+27.1) (+7000)
  2. Dustin Johnson (+25.4) (+400)
  3. Doug Ghim (+21.4) (+9000)
  4. Patrick Cantlay (+21.4) (+1000)
  5. Patton Kizzire (+20.8) (+10000)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: App (30.4%), Birdie or better gained (18.6%), SG: Putting Poa and fast (17.8%), Course History (17%) and Short Par 72 (16.5%).

  1. Dustin Johnson (+400)
  2. Daniel Berger (+2000)
  3. Kevin Streelman (+5500)
  4. Brian Harman (+7000)
  5. Russell Knox (+8000)
  6. Harold Varner III (+9000)
  7. Matthew NeSmith (+10000)
  8. Patrick Cantlay (+1000)
  9. Doug Ghim (+9000)
  10. Jordan Spieth (+3000)

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