AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Each-Way Tips: Molinari to make hay in Monterey

Italian Francesco Molinari
Italian Francesco Molinari can shine at Pebble

After his 200/1 pick Matthew NeSmith landed some tasty place returns last week, Dave Tindall is here with three each-way selections for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am with eight places paid on the Betfair Sportsbook...

"The Italian moved his family to the West Coast of America last year and he's been impressive in what are now his local events. The Italian posted T8 in The American Express and added T10 at the Farmers Insurance Open."

Francesco Molinari each-way @ 22/1

Main Bet: Francesco Molinari each-way @ 22/1

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am gives punters a slightly different challenge this year.

Those who were on the ball discovered a while ago that the 2021 edition will have a new dynamic. In short, no pro-am and a reduction in courses from three to two.

It means we have three rounds at Pebble while Spyglass Hill plays the role of The North Course at Torrey Pines, hosting once over the first two days.

The second adjustment was waking up to a new set of prices on Tuesday morning. The reason: the 7/2 favourite Dustin Johnson has withdrawn.

As for those format alterations, there could be a subtle change in dynamic. The lack of amateurs and Pebble playing a little longer than it usual does in this event means course form from the US Open when it's set up longer may be slightly more useful.

The other factor this year is that the wind is set to pick up on the weekend.

With all that in mind, I'm happy to have a punt on Francesco Molinari.

The 28/1 pre-DJ withdrawal has now become 22/1 but we'll just have to grin and bear it.

The Italian moved his family to the West Coast of America last year and he's been impressive in what are now his local events. The Italian posted T8 in The American Express and added T10 at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Looking at the Strokes Gained stats from the top three finishers in this event from 2017-2020, Tee to Green comes out on top as the most important.

Molinari ranked 20th for TTG in The American Express and improved to third in that category at Torrey Pines, picking up nearly nine shots on the field.

As for that windy forecast, that shouldn't be a problem for an Open winner at Carnoustie.

This is his debut in the event but not at the course. He played in the 2010 US Open at Pebble, missing the cut, but got four solid rounds in two years ago when finishing in a tie for 16th.

Bear in mind, T16 is his best finish in 10 starts at the US Open so hopefully there will be some positive memories.

Next Best: Kevin Streelman each-way @ 35/1

A more conventional pick in an event where course form has always counted for plenty is Kevin Streelman.

The American struggled on his first few visits but then turned the corner with a tied ninth in 2012.

Now he's a standing dish at Pebble and his finishes since 2016 read: 17-14-6-7-2. That means he's landed the each-way cash in each of the last three years.

The extra round at Pebble should also play into his hands. His last six closers at the host course are 68-65-68-69-69-69.

But Spyglass Hill staying on the rotation also helps. He said last year after a 65: "You know, I just seem to play this golf course well. I have really had some nice rounds out here over the years."

One slight downside is that he did seem to love the pro-am element here and Streelman and Larry Fitzgerald took that title last year.

But, hey, he's won twice on the PGA Tour without wise-cracking with a sidekick and the bottom line is that his record in this event is superb.

As for a latest thermometer check, he seems to be running into a bit of form.

Streelman was tied 37th in the Farmers Insurance Open and then shot four rounds in the 60s to add tied 22nd in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

At the Farmers Insurance he ranked 8th for Strokes Gained Tee To Green while he putted better on the Poa Annua at Torrey Pines than he did on the Bermuda at TPC Scottsdale (-2.271).

Checking out his previous Strokes Gained numbers at Pebble is also encouraging. He was in the top three for SG: Tee To Green in both 2019 and 2020 while he ranked 9th for SG: Putting last year.

Those numbers were taken from Pebble only so, as stated, having three rounds there bodes well.

Final Bet: Scott Stallings each-way @ 100/1

I looked at Jim Furyk as a possible third pick at 80/1.

But I fancy a three-figure price after the success of 200/1 Matthew NeSmith last week.

So, leaning on course form and a few other bits and pieces leads me towards Scott Stallings at 100/1.

For starters, he's got some impressive history here after a fine run between 2017 and 2019. He started that sequence with tied 14th, added seventh place in 2018 and rose to third in 2019.

In the latter two he closed with a 66 at Pebble so, once more, getting an extra lap there is good news.

Stallings is perhaps best-known for his performances at the West Coast's other event played on small Poa Annua greens - the Farmers Insurance Open. He won that title in 2014 and finished runner-up when defending.

Current form probably explains his price. But there are some pockets of hope. He was tied sixth at the Sanderson Farms Championship, T26 at the Bermuda and T36 at last week's Phoenix Open.

At TPC Scottsdale he was in the top 20 for SG: Tee To Green and 12th SG: Around The Green.

Take Stallings at 100/1.

Dave's 2020/2021 P/L

Staked: £540.00
Returned: £528.37
P/L: -£11.63

2019/2020 P/L: +£13.83
2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

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