The Punter

The Punter's De-brief: Clark's super 60 seals Pebble Beach triumph

Golfer Wyndham Clark
The victory was Clark's second in California.

Wyndham Clark claimed victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am without playing a final round while Dylan Frittelli bounced back to the winner's circle in Bahrain. Our man looks back at their victories...

  • Clark wins shortened AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

  • No play on Sunday or Monday, final round cancelled

  • Frittelli bounces back to form

There was much fuss ahead of this year's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am about how the tournament was different to the past, what with it being a signature event and having its best field of professionals ever.

In one way, however, it was very like the past.

With appalling weather hitting the Californian coast through Saturday night and Sunday the final round was delayed until Monday - and has now been cancelled entirely with Wyndham Clark announced the winner.

Sound familiar? It's the seventh time the event has been reduced to 54 holes but we should sigh with relief in one regard because in 1998 they played 36 holes early in the year and then returned in August (August!) for the final round.

Imagine the exchange scenes on that!

Clark was most commonly matched at 100.099/1 on the exchange ahead of the first round but he was backed as high as 160.0159/1 as the PGA Tour maintained its 2024 run of producing three figure priced winners.

He had arrived with a best of T18th in the tournament but he did win the US Open in California, at LA Country Club last summer, and he had a top 10 finish at Riviera in 2021.

Through 18 holes he gave little clue of what was to come. He opened with a round of 72 that left him in a tie for 50th, nine blows off the lead and he was backed as high as 700.0699/1.

A second round of 67 left him tied for 23d and six back - still apparently little hope of him winning.

He started his third round priced 320.0319/1 and ended it 3.185/40.

In-between he thrashed two eagle-3s, nine birdies and a bogey at the 12th cost him a 59 but ultimately not the title.

The final round was not so much Clark versus the field but the weather versus the golf.

Those who figured it would never clear might have made smart plays with Clark's 3.185/40.

Notable numbers from elsewhere include Scottie Scheffler who was the co-leader after 36 holes and backed at 3.02/1 before falling back during his third lap.

The Swedish phenom Ludvig Aberg was poised in second place after 54 holes and was backed as low as 2.89/5.

Patrick Cantlay got off to a flyer with a 64 to sit one shot back of the lead, was backed at 3.953/1 but then laboured. That is a fourth tournament in a row that he has been within two blows of the lead after 18 holes and he's not yet finished top 10 in one of them.

The Belgian Thomas Detry led after 18 holes and shared the lead after 36. He's still to win on a first tier tour but he got down to 5.04/1 at one stage.

And what of the Frenchman Matthieu Pavon? In his last 11 starts he has seven top 10 finishes.

He went wire-to-wire winning in Spain, shared leads in the Nedbank Challenge and DP World Tour Championship, was one shot back of the halfway lead in the Sony Open, won the Farmers Insurance Open and ended every round at Pebble Beach two shots off the lead, eventually claiming solo third.

He was widely available at 160.0159/1 on the exchange ahead of play and as high as 100/1101.00 with books.

How is he going to be judged going forward? Is he in a wonderful golden spell or can he maintain it?

Frittelli: Stealthy Saffer in the desert

Dylan Frittelli broke the run of wins for favourites on the 2024 DP World Tour with a patient victory that goes some way to rebuilding his career.

Good enough to have won the 2019 John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour, finish fifth in the 2020 Masters and fifth again in the 2021 Open, his poor form in 2023 contributed to him being available at 350.0349/1 ahead of last week's Bahrain Championship.

But his second win on the DP World Tour - at a blustery Heritage in Mauritius - proved to be a good pointer for the equally windy and similarly modern Royal Club in Bahrain.

Yet even after posting an opening round of 67 to sit three shot off the lead in a tie for eighth the South African could be backed at 65.064/1.

When he hit the halfway mark in a three-way tie for the lead Steve Rawlings picked up on his chances writing: "One name sticks out like a sore thumb - Dylan Frittelli."

He was third favourite at that stage, tipped by Steve at 11.521/2 and he had moved two clear of compatriot Ockie Strydom and three ahead of the Swede Jesper Svensson by the end of Saturday's round.

Zander Lombard and Sebastian Soderberg would flatter to deceive with late charges in the final round but essentially the winner was always likely to come from the final three-ball.

Punters never quite trusted Strydom, the man who won twice in fine style either side of Christmas 2022, but who had made only three cuts (with a best of T40th) in his previous 21 starts. He made three birdies in the final four holes of the front nine to be backed at a low of 3.3512/5 before leaving it to his playing partners after the turn.

The Sky Sports commentators were keen on Svensson's chances as he played the front nine in 3-under and he was backed at a low of 1.748/11.

He was still in the mix playing the par-5 14th but made an ugly bogey-6 there and his race was run.

Frittelli was flat early in the round and 2-over through 12 holes to fall behind Svensson, and briefly Strydom, in the betting.

But back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 had him 1.748/11, and when he drained a birdie putt on 16 which the commentators had described as a potential three-putt he left the green with a two-shot lead priced 1.132/15.

He negotiated his way home in relative safety for a third victory at this level and he'll now be looking to plot his way to more wins to confirm a return to the PGA Tour.

Now read this week's golf previews and tips here.


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