AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks and Predictions: Look for Erik Van Rooyen, Will Gordon to Find Success

The PGA Tour hosts a Pro-Am event held at the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links. Golf handicapper Andy Lack is here to break down the tournament and give us his early picks.

Erik Van Rooyen Iron Swing American Express
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For the second time in three weeks, the PGA Tour will play host to a Pro-Am event held across a three-course rotation. After an exciting Saturday finish at the Farmers Insurance Open, where Max Homa emerged victorious over Sam Ryder, we now head North to Monterrey Peninsula for the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am. While the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links is the undeniable star of the show, the three-course rotation is rounded out by Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club, both beautiful courses that hug the Pacific Ocean. Players will take their turn at each of the three courses across Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before those who make the cut will play their final round at Pebble Beach. The 156-player field is headlined by Tom Hoge, who returns to defend his title. He will be joined by 2017 champion Jordan Spieth, 2018 U.S. Amateur champion at Pebble Beach, Viktor Hovland, and reigning U.S. Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick.

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AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Course Preview

Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill, and Monterrey Peninsula Country Club

While most think of Pebble Beach as a demanding host of countless memorable U.S. Opens, it is set up far differently this week to account for the amateur portion of the field. The iconic Jack Neville and Douglas Grant design will play as a par 72, measuring just 6,972 yards on the scorecard. Spyglass Hill typically plays as the most challenging of the three courses this week. The Robert Trent Jones designs are routed along the Pacific coast for the front nine before weaving through the forest for the second nine. Monterrey Peninsula Country Club typically provides the most benign test of the three, yielding a historic driving accuracy and greens in regulation percentage both north of 70%. The formula is straightforward for all three courses, as they all feature generous landing areas off the tee. The lack of pushback off the tee places a far greater emphasis on approach, and with all three courses playing as some of the shortest on Tour, wedge play is essential this week. It is not a coincidence that Tom Hoge, who entered last year as the best player in the field from under 150 yards, emerged victorious.

Find the latest Pebble Beach Pro-Am odds here, with all the sportsbook's odds for this week's PGA Tour event compared across the outright and prop markets.

AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am Key Stats

  • Proximity 100-150 yards
  • Opportunities Gained
  • Poa Putting & Putting Inside 15 feet

AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am Predictions: 

Erik Van Rooyen (+8100) (Odds available on Bet365)

I was surprised that there was a ton to like about Erik Van Rooyen this week, which can be found as high as +8100 on Bet365. The South African is coming off an extremely quiet sixth-place finish at the American Express, another Pro-Am event with a three-course rotation, where he gained 1.5 strokes off the tee, 3.3 strokes on approach, 3.7 strokes around the green, and 2.7 strokes putting in two rounds at the Stadium Course. While the 32-year-old has never teed it up in this event before, Pebble Beach should offer a welcome return, as Van Rooyen gained 7.8 strokes ball-striking at the 2019 U.S. Open hosted at the aforementioned Douglas Grant and Jack Neville design. Quietly one of the better iron players in the field, with a proven track record of success on Poa greens, I expect Van Rooyen to be firmly in the mix come Sunday afternoon in Monterrey.

Will Gordon (+8600) (Odds available on Bet365)

In a very short time, PGA Tour rookie, Will Gordon, has already made a name for himself as a prime breakthrough candidate. The 26-year-old put together an impressive fall swing, making the cut in all seven events he played in, which included a third-place finish at the Mayakoba and a 15th-place finish at the RSM Classic, both shorter, coastal tracks that place a heavy emphasis on wedge play and putting. While Gordon is one of the longest players on Tour, most of his strongest professional performances have come on shorter courses where he can club down off the tee and easily find the fairway. Don’t get me wrong, the Vanderbilt University product has cooled considerably since a scorching hot fall swing, but this is a perfect buy spot on a player whose value in the market is depressed, even though he hasn’t missed a beat from a ball-striking standpoint. Gordon is coming off back-to-back missed cuts at the American Express and Farmer’s Insurance Open. He still gained strokes in both ball-striking categories but fell victim to shaky around the green and putting performances. Now Gordon returns to an event where he finished 21st, gaining strokes in all four major categories through his two rounds at Pebble Beach. We do not forget that Gordon made it all the way to the quarter-finals in the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach. I expect the North Carolina native to bounce back in a big way this week and put together an extremely strong performance at a course that he has now proven on multiple occasions suits his game to a tee.

Andy Lack

A PGA Tour writer and podcaster from Manhattan, New York, Andy Lack has contributed to sites such as Golf Digest, GolfWRX, OddsChecker Rotoballer, the Score, and now Golf Monthly. Andy is also the host of a golf betting and daily fantasy podcast, Inside Golf Podcast, as well as "The Scramble” with Rick Gehman, and a recurring guest on the Pat Mayo Experience. When he’s not writing, Andy can likely be found somewhere on a golf course pursuing his lifelong dream of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur.