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Strong Field for AT & T at Pebble Beach

The field for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am, this week’s PGA Tour stop will be thanking their lucky stars that Hideke Matsuyama isn’t lining up alongside them. The red-hot Japanese pro won again in Phoenix last week to underline his credentials as the form player on Tour. His absence gives the host of big names a chance to claim some silverware and valuable FedEx Cup points, but it won’t be easy given the quality of golfers on display.

Take a look at the players in the field to watch and our tip for the winner in this week’s PGA Tour preview of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am:

The Course

The Pro Am features a slightly unusual format with a third round cut line. Each player plays Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Shore Course, before those who progress enjoy the splendid Pebble beach for a second time.

The course is one of immaculate beauty. It’s ranked the number one public course in the US because of its spectacular views of the coastline, cliffs and ocean. Pebble Beach has hosted the US Open on multiple occasions and is best known for its tiny greens.

While none of the courses play long, they will provide an ample challenge in conditions where the ball won’t carry as far. Keep in mind, that with less carry, longer hitters might prevail, doubly so for those with great short games too as it will be impossible to maintain a high GIR percentage this week.

The Defending Champion

Vaughn Taylor shocked everyone last year by recording his first win in 11 years; defeating third-round leader Phil Mickelson, a guy that plays unbelievably well at Pebble Beach. Taylor posted a final round 65 before watching Phil miss a very makable five-footer for birdie on the last. At one stage Taylor was six shots off Mickelson’s lead.

Two Swedes’, Jones Blixt and Freddie Jacobson finished 3rd and 4th respectively to close out last year’s top four.

The Contenders*

Phil Mickelson $23

Four-time winner of the tournament and one that has featured (rightly so) in a number of our contender lists over the last month. Runner-up last year (as above) and in decent form – definitely worth considering.

Jason Day $13

A little bit of doubt surrounds his body as he looks to bounce back from a missed cut at Torrey Pines in his last start. Hopefully, his poor last outing can be put down to Tiger’s presence/funk and he brings the game that has seen him record three top 10s here in the past.

Justin Rose $15

Rose was tied 6th here last year and has been hanging around the leaderboard in his two starts this year (2nd in Hawaii and 4th in the Farmers Insurance Open. A great look if his back is healthy.

Dustin Johnson $9

Also looking to bounce back after playing with Tiger a fortnight ago. Johnson has a curious record in the AT&T; two wins and another four top 10s scattered amongst 3 missed cuts. A course that will certainly suit his length.

Jordan Spieth $10

Quietly putting together a nice start to the season ahead of April’s trip to Augusta. Spieth has had four top tens in his last four events and has never missed a cut here.

Jon Rahm $23

The young Spaniard continues to play a full calendar despite enjoying a breakthrough win only a couple of weeks ago. Rahm hasn’t played in the tournament before, but if he can close out a tournament with a 60ft eagle putt he can pretty much do anything.

If nothing takes your fancy above, consider Patrick Reed ($29), J.B. Holmes ($41) or J.J Spaun ($67) as the next best options.

*Odds from Sportsbet.

The Winner

Phil’s form and history will likely lead to the left-hander being the favourite in most circles. For that reason, we’ll include him here with a strong feeling that Spaun could do something great too.

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