AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am: How will Rory fare in his first US appearance of the season

By Bryan Nicholson

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31 January 2024

The second signature Event of 2024 is already upon us as an 80-man field is set to tee it up this year at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. Eighty pros will again be accompanied by amateurs, but the amateurs will compete for just two of the four days. It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a stellar field for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am but with the new format of the PGA Tour in 2024, eighteen of the world’s top 20 players will play. 

At the top of the market, Scottie Scheffler (11.0) returns while Rory McIlroy (11.5) makes his tentative comeback on US soil after victory in Dubai. The front of the market has a major-like feel to it while we have a nice blend of the current Aon Swing 5 and Aon Next 10 in the field. The Next 10 are formed from no’s 51-60 on last year’s FedEx Cup Fall standings and the Swing 5 are made up of the highest points earners (not already exempt) from the three events leading into this week.

Nick Dunlap has recently turned pro after his win at the AMEX and tees it up courtesy of the tournament winner’s exemption. Justin Rose (140.0) will defend his title, and he finished t3 in the US Open in 2019 at Pebble Beach following a poor final round. There’s 700 FedEx Cup points on offer to the winner of this event.

The Courses

Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill will both play as a par 72, averaging around 7,000 yards. Small greens and wide fairways feature at Pebble which plays easier than Spyglass unless it really gusts. A neat short game will be required, but emphasis is on approach and Poa putting on the California swing. We’ll see easy pins and plenty of par breakers.

The Contenders

Sam Burns, 50.0 or 4.1, looks pleasantly priced. With pins easy to access in pro-am format, Sam can get the blade working again like he did at the AMEX. He showed us he was comfortable in this format at PGA West and looked for all the world like he'd win that event before a sloppy finish allowed amateur Nick Dunlap to take the title. Burns has played in this competition once and he finished t39. Burns won the Match Play last season, and he ranked fourth in total putting for the year. He rates a 10.0 on my model for birdie or better conversion rate.

Jordan Spieth, 19.5 or 2.80, is another with a standout record in this event. Jordan was a winner back in 2017 and owns six tops 10s from his last ten appearances here. Spieth hasn’t teed it up since the season opener and first Signature Event back in Kapalua, but he came out of the blocks fast there with a third place. He likes Poa Annua greens and was 28th in strokes gained around the green in 2024 while ranking 10/10 in my model for approaches from the 125–175-yard range.

A couple of outsiders I’m drawn to this week include Kevin Yu, 120.0 or 8.0, and Christian Bezuidenhout, 150.0 or 7.6, who have seventh and 14th place finishes recorded here in their last respective appearances. Both have featured prominently this season with big hitter Yu going third and sixth the last two weeks, and the South African grabbing a runner up spot at the Amex. 

Bez is known for hitting fairways, strong iron pedigree and a neat short game, while Yu is one of the longer players on tour who makes a lot of par breakers. Christiaan is fourth in strokes gained approach so far this year. Yu was 10th in total driving, fourth in greens in regulation, and 11th in par breakers in 2023.

Recommended Bets

Back Sam Burns to win @ 50.0 or t10 @ 4.3
Back Jordan Speith to win @ 19.5 or t10 @ 2.80
Back Kevin Yu to win @ 120.0 or t10 @ 8.0
Back Christian Bezuidenhout to win @ 150.0 or t10 @ 7.6

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