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Odds and Ends

Picks and tips: Ride AT&T form with Streelman

by Will Gray
Updated On: February 9, 2021, 5:18 pm ET

It's a new look and feel as the PGA Tour returns this week to Pebble Beach.

Gone are the familiar batches of celebrity amateur participants, as the Pro-Am part of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is out this year because of the pandemic. As a result, the course rotation also got trimmed: Monterey Peninsula has been removed, with three rounds on the host course and one on nearby Spyglass Hill.

The field also has a different look this year, and it's one of a lack of starpower. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson's withdrawal Monday didn't help matters, as No. 11 Patrick Cantlay is now the highest-ranked player and the betting favorite in a field that only includes four other players ranked inside the top 50 in the world.

But a champ will still be crowned this week alongside the Monterey Peninsula, with 156 players vying for the right to lift the trophy on one of the most scenic courses in the country. Here's a look at who I have my eye on at Pebble, along with a few players who could factor for a high finish:

To Win (odds via PointsBet Sportsbook)

Kevin Streelman (+4000): Streelman hasn't won in nearly seven years, but if he's going to get victory No. 3 this seems like an opportune time (and place) to do so. The veteran has been an absolute force at this event in recent years, finishing T-17 or better each of the last five years. That includes a run of three straight top-10s that he capped last year, finishing solo second behind Nick Taylor. Streelman clearly feels comfortable with the unique demands of this event where driving distance is less of a factor and finding relatively tiny targets becomes paramount. He finished T-37 two weeks ago at Torrey Pines and improved last week in Phoenix, where he tied for 22nd. But what stood out were his ball-striking stats: Streelman finished seventh in the field in SG: Approach and T-4 in greens in regulation, hitting 61 of 72 for the week. Accuracy like that will go a long way toward providing another opportunity to contend this week.

Cameron Tringale (+5000): Tringale has yet to win during a solid if unspectacular PGA Tour career, but his close calls include a final-round 62 in November when he missed a playoff at the RSM Classic by a shot. Like Streelman, he's also coming off a strong ball-striking week at TPC Scottsdale where he finished T-17 and missed just seven greens in regulation across his final 54 holes. Tringale was also T-18 the week prior while putting on poa annua at Torrey Pines and has a solid record at this event, making the cut in six of his last seven appearances with a pair of top-25s sprinkled in. If you're paying a premium on a name near the top like Jason Day or Jordan Spieth, you might get a discount this week on a player who doesn't have the name recognition but still packs a game with plenty of upside in an event where many of the usual suspects will be watching from home.


Top Finishes (odds via PointsBet)

Phil Mickelson (+450 top-10): Why not? Mickelson has won this event five times and came out of nowhere a year ago to finish third, pushing his record to four top-3 finishes in the last five years at Pebble. Lefty hasn't shown much form of late and hasn't cracked the top 40 in any event since the WGC in Memphis in July. But that week he finished T-2 essentially out of the blue, and last year had a few occasions where he made a rather unprompted (and unpredictable) leaderboard appearance. No one in the field knows this event better than Mickelson, and it's a tempting price given he'll get three cracks at the host course should he make the weekend.

Brandt Snedeker (+725 top-10): Snedeker is another veteran with event form on his side, having won here in 2013 and 2015 with a fourth-place showing in 2017 thrown in for good measure. I backed him two weeks ago at Torrey, another event where his course form stood out, and he basically was derailed by one bad round (a Saturday 77). The other three days were more in line with my expectations, and he still salvaged a T-32 finish despite a rough third round. If he can avoid a similar pothole this week the end result could be even better, as Snedeker has a penchant for getting hot with the putter on these fickle poa annua greens.

Rob Oppenheim (+330 top-40): Taking a stab here on a 300/1 longshot who is 20/1 for a top-10 finish this week. I'm not quite ready to go all-in on Oppenheim, who has only three top-10s in 87 career starts on Tour. But one of those did come at this event, a T-8 finish back in 2017, and Oppenheim has never missed the cut here in four prior starts. He started the new season with three top-40 finishes in his first four starts, and while he ballooned to a 79 on Torrey South in his most recent round he still ranks 24th on Tour this season in SG: Approach. This week the iron play takes on greater importance, and I like getting more than a 3:1 return on the prospect of Oppenheim essentially equaling last year's T-38 result.

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Will Gray

Will Gray joined Golf Channel in 2007 and currently serves as a staff writer for GolfChannel.com. Gray has been covering fantasy golf since 2012 and is a regular contributor to the Golf Central blog and covers several PGA Tour events each year. He's also a regular contributor to several digital properties on GolfChannel.com, including Stat Man, On the Clock, Fantasy Central, Grill Room and the Monday Scramble podcast.