AT&T Pebble Peach Pro-Am Round 4 Odds & Picks: Why Mickelson Is Favored and Best Matchup Bets
Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images. Pictured: Phil Mickelson
I wasn’t quite sure we would get to this point with Phil Mickelson ever again, let alone so quickly. Not even after winning last year’s edition of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, not even after finishing in third place in Saudi Arabia last week.
But here it is anyway: Mickelson is currently the betting favorite to win.
According to GolfOdds.com, Lefty hasn’t been a pre-tourney favorite since the 2014 Valero Texas Open, when he shared that honor with Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson, only to have longshot Steven Bowditch come out on top that week.
Odds as of Sunday morning. Check out FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
There’s likely been a time since then when Mickelson has been the favorite through 54 holes, though in each of his two PGA Tour victories during this time — last year’s AT&T and the previous year’s WGC-Mexico Championship — he came from behind in the final round, so perhaps this is indeed “new” old territory for him.
Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks & Predictions: Best Round 4 Bets
At +155 to win outright, the best thing about Mickelson’s chances for a sixth career win at Pebble on Sunday is the fact that the title might already be considered a three-horse race.
Nick Taylor (+185) holds the lead at 17-under, followed by Mickelson one stroke behind and Jason Day (+300) two strokes further back.
It would take either a massive fade from these three or a Herculean effort from the likes of Matt Every, Kevin Streelman or Peter Malnati — or both of these things — for the winner to not come from this top trio.
Taylor owns just one career victory and while his final-round scoring average this season is 69.33, good enough for 59th on the PGA Tour, he can hardly be classified as a closer. Day fits that profile, with a dozen career wins on this circuit at age 32, though it should be noted that the most recent of those came at the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship, 21 months ago.
And so, we’re then left with Mickelson, in the contrasting state of familiar territory as a favorite at Pebble, yet unfamiliar territory at the top of the oddsmakers’ boards, a situation he hasn’t inhabited in years.
Quite frankly, though, he checks all the relevant boxes.
He’s won here before — more than anyone else, actually, other than Mark O’Meara, who shares his record of five career titles. He’s won more recently than his two closest competitors. And you know he has a game plan, strategizing how he can win this one again.
“I have to do the same thing that I’ve done previously and just go shoot a good solid final round,” he said after a third-round 67. “Get off to a good start and take advantage of those first six, seven holes where you can make some birdies and then carry that momentum through some of the challenging holes and then finish strong with some birdies, too.”
He’s the current favorite for good reason. Even if we didn’t think he’d get here again, especially so quickly, it’s pretty tough to fade him now.
Round 4 Matchups
Dustin Johnson (-245) over Charl Schwartzel
Chalky? Absolutely, but just in case DJ’s level-par disappointment on Saturday threw anyone off the scent in this one, let’s not allow ourselves to believe he can post a second poor number on one of his favorite courses. Schwartzel has a great story this week, one in which he bought clubs online and retooled them himself, but great stories don’t win matchups. Let’s not overthink this one. Play the chalk.
Max Homa (-110) over Kurt Kitayama
It’s tough to fade the heater that Homa has been riding lately, but this one is less about him and more about his opponent. For those who don’t know Kitayama, he’s an American who plies his craft on the European Tour, winning two events in the last two seasons.
He’s a really good player, but one who’s been snake-bitten on Sundays. In his last four final rounds, Kitayama has posted scores of 75-75-73-75. In fact, since the beginning of last year, he’s broken 70 in the final round just five times in 21 attempts. This feels like a great place to fade him against the streaking Homa.
Viktor Hovland (-145) over Cameron Champ
Not gonna lie: I kinda wish this matchup had more on the line, but here’s hoping they’ll meet in a final pairing sometime soon. For now, they’re battling from the 15th position and while I love everything about Champ’s game, it’s impossible to bypass Hovland either on this course or in a final round right now.
As I mentioned in my third-round preview column, Hovland was both the 2018 U.S. Amateur champion at Pebble and 2019 U.S. Open low-amateur at this venue. He hasn’t seen a PGA Tour final round since last year, but his last seven Sundays in U.S. competition have included five scores of 65 or lower. Even though I loved Champ entering this week, Hovland is too tough in this matchup.