Kevin Stadler broke through in Phoenix last week in impressive fashion but the tour just keeps moving on. The Monterrey peninsula and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am are where the PGA Tour will call home this week. Three different courses will be in play including Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course. You are hard pressed to find an area with more exceptional courses than here. Pebble Beach will play to a Par of 72 at 6737, the Shore Course will play to a Par of 70 at 6875 yards and Spyglass will traverse 6938 yards playing to a Par of 72.
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am has a long and storied history. The past champions at the AT&T is a distinguished group of Hall of Famers as well as current PGA Tour stars. Imagine having you name next to Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson (4-time winner) and Mark O’Meara (5-time winner). The defending champion is Brandt Snedeker and there is no doubt he wants a repeat performance. A field of 150+ PGA Tour Professionals will be looking to join the history books as a first time or repeat winner taking home $1,188,000 for first out of a total purse of $6,600,000.
Predicting a winner in a full field golf tournament is a lot like finding a needle in a haystack but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. . I have a few players in mind with a great shot at conquering the Monterrey Peninsula and joining the impressive list of past champions. On to the predictions and picks for the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open
Horse for the Course- Phil Mickelson
Mickelson has won at Pebble Beach on four different occasions which is good for second all-time behind Mark O’Meara’s five. Mickelson also holds the title for most wins on multiple course events of any active player on the PGA Tour with 13. Continuing the local trend, Mickelson also holds the honor of lowest opening 36 holes in the history of the event at 129. Concerning for Mickelson is his back. He had to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance due to back pain. He announced he was fine in Phoenix and was just rusty. If that is the case and he has full practice time there is no reason that he cannot win this week at Pebble Beach. He knows how to get it done here and that’s why he is my “Horse for the Course.”
The Pick- Jason Day
While some consider me a bit to high on Jason Day, who has one career PGA tour victory in 2010 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, I disagree. Start by looking at his quality of play in 2013. He did not miss a cut in all 21 starts last season including 12 top-25s, seven top-10s, two thirds and a runner-up finish at the US Open. In fact in three of the four Major Championships last year he finished in the top-10.
Prior to making his 2014 debut on the PGA Tour, Day played in and won the ISPS Handa World Cup at Royal Melbourne. He made his PGA Tour debut at the Farmers Insurance Open with an opening 66 and closing with a 68. He appears to be on form and ready to step forward in 2014. Historically at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am Jason has not won but has shown an affinity for the course and the format as evident by his sixth place finish in 2013, 14th place finish in 2009 and sixth place finish in 2008. Day has a powerful. solid and repeatable swing that allows his to avoid horrible stumbles in pressure moments.
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is his second start and expect Jason Day to step up setting up a solid 2014 that just might end with him winning a Major Championship. In fact is you want to read about why I think he can win a major in 2014 you could check out 2014 PGA Tour Predictions: Major Title Breakthrough, Top-10, ROY and More . While it might be against the grain I am picking Jason Day to capture the title this week.
Who will win the 2014 AT&T National Pro-Am?
- Other (Please leave comment) (45%, 23 Votes)
- Jason Day (35%, 18 Votes)
- Phil Mickelson (20%, 10 Votes)
Total Voters: 51