Tips for First Round Leader and 100/1+ outsider picks
Key Stats, course form and ones to watch
Steve Rawlings says: "It stands to reason that given Pebble Beach is a links-style course and that it's perched alongside the ocean, that Open Championship form stands up well here.
"When Jordan Spieth followed his victory here with success at Royal Birkdale in 2017 he became the third different AT&T winner to also win the Open Championship this century. The five-time winner, Phil Mickelson, is also an Open champion and something of a links specialist and a number of recent winners have a cracking record in the world's oldest Major Championship.
"Wind is nearly always a factor here so players that play well in blustery conditions prosper but at this early stage, we look set for a benign week before the wind picks up on Sunday...
"I'm not going to pretend that Spieth's missed cut at the Sony was anything but worrying for the former world number one but he has event form figures that read an impressive 22-4-7-21-1-20-45-9-3-2.
"Spieth traded at odds-on 12 months ago having come into the event with 2022 form figures reading 21-MC and he's even contended at Pebble when deep in the midst of his major slump."
Steve's bet: Back Jordan Spieth @ 14.5
Dave Tindall says: "One notable feature of the champions' roll-call is just how many American winners there are. Scroll down from 2022 to 1966 and you'll find just three non-US victors. Even 15 of the last 18 runners-up were Americans.
"I'll go for two home players in my staking plan but will lead off with one of those who has broken the US domination - Nick Taylor.
"The Canadian scored a hugely impressive four-shot victory here in 2020, holding off Mickelson down the stretch and pulling away.
2It was a surprise but not a massive one. He'd also been 10th in 2017, 28th in 2019 and made the top 45 in the 2019 US Open at Pebble. Taylor was 39th when defending in 2021 and shot 69-70-69-69 last year to post 14th. Clearly, his game is a great fit for Pebble."
Dave's bet: Back Nick Taylor each-way @ 50/1
Steve Rawlings says: "With three rounds over three different venues, bumpy unpredictable greens and amateurs in tow, it takes a certain type of player to take to the tournament and it's no surprise to see debutants struggle and the same names contend year after year.
"Somewhat typically, Troy Merritt took his time to get to grips with the event and he missed his first six cuts here but he kept returning and it's now paying dividends.
"In his last four attempts he's finished eighth, 25th, 16th and fourth last year so it's fair to say the penny's dropped. Having finished 65th in the Sony and missed the cut in The American Express, he's started the year quietly, but he was third in Mexico as recently as November."
Steve's bet: Back Troy Merrit @ 170.0169/1
Andy Swales says: "Pebble Beach, which opened in 1919, has some of the smallest greens in professional golf. Nearby Spyglass Hill, another public course, has earned a reputation for being one of the toughest layouts on the PGA Tour schedule.
"Spyglass, which is generally an inland layout, does not meander too close to the Pacific coast, unlike Pebble Beach. Meanwhile, the Shore Course at Monterey, underwent major reconstruction in 2003 and 2004 when architect Mike Strantz designed 12 new holes and remodelled the other six.
"Its putting surfaces are slightly larger than the average-sized greens used on the PGA Tour and therefore much bigger than those at Pebble. All three venues have Poa Annua greens...
"Joel Dahmen, the 35-year-old, opens his 2023 account at Pebble where he tied-sixth 12 months ago. Recently, he became a first-time father, and ended last year with three straight top-10 finishes."
Andy's Player to Watch: Joel Dahmen @ 50.049/1
Steve Rawlings says: "In addition to form at Doha and the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, the last two weeks should provide a few clues too. Both the Yas Links and the Emirates are more linksy than this venue but desert form translates very well and I'd also closely consider any form at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, which hosts the Portugal Masters.
"Hojgaard and the man that finished tied third behind him, Matthieu Pavon, finished tied second behind Thomas Pieters in the Portugal Masters in 2021, and Jordan Smith, who won here on the Challenge Tour before finishing second to Hojgaard, romped home in Portugal at the end of October - amassing a 30-under-par total.
"Mathew Jordan, who was 13th, finished fifth in Portugal in 2021 and the first and second at the Challenge Tour Grand Final here in 2018, Arnaus and Perez, have also played well in Portugal...
"I was lucky enough to get a bit matched on Arnaus at 46.0 on Monday but he's still a fair price at 10 ticks lower. Having romped to a wire-to-wire win here on the Challenge Tour, he was in second with a round to go (albeit six adrift) when Fox won here last year and he was also in the thick of it last week, hitting a low of 4.4 when he hit the front after eight holes of round three.
"He was a bit disappointing after that to finish 13th but this less penal layout suits the big-hitting Spaniard better than the Emirates."
Steve's bet: Back Adri Arnaus @ 36.035/1
Matt Cooper says: "The 28-year-old Adri Arnaus finally made his winning breakthrough on the circuit later last year and thereafter endured something of a downward shift.
"But he was ninth in the DP World Championship and then 13th last week in the Dubai Desert Classic, both of them fine results in their own right but also part of an excellent record in the United Arab Emirates.
"Since his wire-to-wire win at Al Hamra he's teed it up in the UAE 16 times on the DP World Tour and landed 12 top 30s, eight of them top 15s.
"That's a fine body of work and compares well with the rest of the field given that most of those events were played on tougher tracks and up against better fields."
Matt's bet: Back Adri Arnaus each-way @ 29.028/1
Dave Tindall says: "Rasmus Hojgaard finished 42nd and 30th in the two Ras al Khaimah events 12 months ago while he's flashed more notable form in the UAE with seventh in November's DP World Tour Championship and 20th in last week's Dubai Desert Classic.
"Hojgaard was ranked 1st for Driving Distance in Dubai where he got stronger as the week went on: 71-71-70-67.
"As for fast starts, he's something of a specialist. Rasmus was the R1 leader at September's Open de France while in October/November he was in the top five after 18 holes in three straight starts: the Mallorca Golf Open, the Nedbank Golf Challenge and the DP World Tour Championship."
Dave's bet: Back Rasmus Hojgaard each-way @ 29.028/1
Andy Swales says: "Al Hamra has reasonably generous fairways, uncomplicated putting surfaces, and large threatening water hazards on eight holes. The course is laid out close to Ras Al Khaimah's coastline in the Persian Gulf.
"In building Al Hamra, course architect Peter Harradine used five million cubic metres of sand to shape and design the layout. Thanks to its wide fairways and straightforward greens, there should be plenty of birdie opportunities up for grabs this coming week.
"And last year's two tournaments yielded winning scores of 24 and 22 under par...
"Ryan Fox, winner of the second Al Hamra tournament to be staged last year, was named the European Tour's Player of the Year (Seve Ballesteros Award) for 2022, which is voted for by Tour members."
Andy's Player to Watch: Back Ryan Fox @ 19.018/1