Welcome back for another PGA Tour event preview with @DFSduncan. Before we preview the AT&T Celebrity Pro-Am let’s do a quick recap of last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Rickie Fowler was able to hold on to win by 2 strokes over a charging Branden Grace who trailed by 7 strokes coming into the day. Rickie’s first win in 3 years won’t do much to assuage the doubters who claim he can’t perform under pressure. His 3 over par performance coming into Sunday with a lead could have been disastrous if it weren’t for the equally upsetting performances of Matt Kuchar and Justin Thomas. With that said the win should give Rickie confidence going forward and he remains one of the most gifted golfers on tour. With all that being said let’s get into this week’s course preview and key stats.
Course Preview and Key Stats
The AT&T Celebrity Pro-Am is hosted at 3 courses with the players and their celebrity partners rotating between Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Monterey Peninsula. All 3 courses are just under 7,000 yards with Pebble and Spyglass playing to par 72 and Monterrey playing to a par 71. All players will play 3 rounds with a Saturday cut leaving the remaining field to play Pebble again. Pebble Beach will host this year’s US Open and early rumors are that the powers that be at the course have already began narrowing the fairways in preparation for golf’s greatest test. This should result in the course playing a bit more difficult than it has in prior years. All 3 courses have fairly generous fairways, but the greens have historically been difficult to hit. This will put a premium on scrambling this week. Each course has 4 par 5’s that players will need to take advantage of as if the winds pick up scoring opportunities may be at a premium. With all this being said these are the key statistics I’ll be looking at this week.
- SG: Tee to Green
- SG: Ball Striking
- SG: Approach
- GIR Gained
- Scrambling Gained
- Par 5 Scoring
Dustin Johnson ($11,400)
Elite stats, elite course history, and elite form; what else could you ask for? Johnson rates out as #1 in my model and is coming off a win on the European Tour in Saudi Arabia. He boasts 4 top 5 finishes in his last 5 starts here and won the tournament in 2009 and 2010. His price keeps him out of play in cash lineups for me as I’m not crazy about the low $7k and $6k range this week, but he is an elite GPP lineup cornerstone.
Tony Finau ($10,600)
Finau ranks 2ndin my model and is coming off a missed cut in which he was highly owned. Finau doesn’t have much in the way of course history with his only start here being a T23 in 2017. I think these factors make him a strong GPP play this week. He doesn’t seem to enjoy the track in Scottsdale so I’m willing to look past the missed cut this past week, which others may not be. This should hopefully keep his ownership low and give you a world class golfer at discounted ownership.
Branden Grace ($8,900)
Grace is coming off a strong week in Scottsdale in which he made a late charge on Sunday that came up just short. He held a lead briefly before things got away from him. If the winds pick up he is an elite wind player. He finished T20 in this event last year. He’s a lock in cash lineups and a solid play in GPP’s considering the players he is priced around. This is the range I would start my cash lineups this week.
Shane Lowry ($8,800)
Lowry has been a force on the Euro tour this year thus far with a win in Abu Dhabi and a T12 in Dubai to his name. He’s also made the cut in this event the last 4 years. He’s showing as 16thin my model. He’s a strong cash play considering these factors.
Sunjae Im ($8,400)
Im has been as consistent as they come this year on tour. He’s made all 4 cuts this calendar year and has been elite tee to green. While it concerns me that this is his 5thstraight start, I’ll continue riding him in cash games until he shows me he’s getting run down.
Trey Mullinax ($7,400)
Mullinax remains in great form with a 15thplace finish in Phoenix last week. He had a tough weekend after being T3 going into Saturday, but his ball striking has been elite and he’ll look to continue that trend this week. I like him in GPP’s and in cash if you need some savings.
Ryan Palmer ($7,200)
Another strong ball striker, Palmer is coming off a T60 last week and a T13 at Torrey Pines. I think he is underpriced at $7200 and while he doesn’t have the best course history missing 2 of his last 4 cuts in this event he has the upside I’m looking for in GPP’s.
Brian Gay ($6,800)
As I mentioned above, there’s not much I like in this range, so in GPP’s I will just be looking for guys with a decent chance to make the cut if I pay up for the big guns like Johnson and Finau in GPP’s. Gay has made the cut in his last 4 starts in this event including a T8 last year. While most his stats don’t pop in my model he is an elite scrambler and putter which will be helpful this week. I like his chances to make the cut and play on Sunday.
Hank Lebioda ($6,500)
Lebioda is a Web.com tour graduate who has made 4 of his last 5 cuts including a 29thplace finish at Torrey Pines in his last start. He is solid tee to green and a good par 5 scorer. His game seems to fit these courses fairly well and a dart throw in this range you could certainly do worse.
Be careful making your lineups this week. The field has changed since Draftkings released pricing and weather is going to play a major role in this tournament. Wait until tee times and course assignments are announced to make your lineups as there could be some significant advantages and disadvantages based on when and where guys are teeing off.
As always feel free to contact me directly on twitter @DFSduncan with any questions. Until next week, wishing you luck and green screens.