Skip to main content

Expert Picks: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Getty Images
Karrie Webb of Australia reacts after a putt on the first hole during day four of the LPGA Australian Open at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on February 22, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  - 

This week marks the 12th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season as many of the game's best tee it up alongside celebrities at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and John Antonini; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; staff writer Ryan Lavner and defending fantasy champion Charlie Rymer.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Jordan Spieth: We've officially reached the point where it doesn't matter the course our the tournament, Spieth is a legit candidate to contend.

Group 2: Pat Perez: He's been knocking on the door the last two weeks and would love to avenge that loss from Pebble his rookie year.

Group 3: Russell Knox: Someone Who Knows Things told me recently that Knox is coming along ahead of schedule and might be ready to win very soon.

Group 4: Scott Langley: Reportedly playing with Peyton Manning might bring more attention, but expect the sophomore to thrive under pressure.

Randall Mell

Group 1: Jason Day: Coming off a T-2 at Torrey Pines and off a sixth-place finish at Pebble last year. Just feels like it's going to be a big year for Day.

Group 2: Jimmy Walker: Confidence should be high. Won at Sony last month, finished T-3, T-9, T-9 in his last three starts at Pebble.

Group 3: Aaron Baddeley: Pebble inspires him T-12, fourth, T-6 in his last three starts there.

Group 4: Chad Collins: Off to a solid start this year, including an eighth-place finish at Humana.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Dustin Johnson: He already has a victory in the 2013-14 season (WGC-HSBC Champions), two wins on the Monterey Peninsula (2009 and ’10) and one heartbreaking near miss at the 2010 U.S. Open played at Pebble Beach.

Group 2: Jimmy Walker: Not sure how a guy that has two victories this season falls into Group 2, but we know a steal when we see one.

Group 3: John Peterson: He has struggled in his last few events after a quick start to his season, but he has the game and attitude to compete every week.

Group 4: Davis Love III: The soon-to-be senior hasn’t exactly been sharp to begin 2014, but he’s won the Clambake twice and still has enough length to compete on the PGA Tour.

John Antonini

Group 1: Jordan Spieth: He handled the quirks of this tournament (slow play, amateurs, multiple courses) admirably a year ago when he was still just Jordan Spieth. Now that he's JORDAN SPIETH, we expect substantial improvement on that T-22 finish.

Group 2: Chris Kirk: The runner-up a year ago has already won once this season on Tour (McGladrey) and was second at the Sony. He's not in over his head.

Group 3: Brendon Todd: He was T-9 in 2012 when, like everyone else on the leaderboard, he was way-laid by Phil Mickelson's final-round 64. Todd's solid GIR and scrambling stats make him a strong pick this year.

Group 4: Briny Baird: Is it too much to ask that one week after Kevin Stadler won in his 239th PGA Tour start, that Baird wins in his 369th? Maybe so, but Baird's another player who hits plenty of greens and is strong in the scrambling stats. He's not a reach in Group 4.

Ryan Lavner

Group 1: Jason Day: Nine consecutive top 25s overall. Four top 10s in a row. A pair of T-6s in four career starts here.

Group 2: Jimmy Walker: FedEx Cup leader has two wins and four other top 25s in his last eight starts.

Group 3: Jason Kokrak: When he makes the cut, he makes it count - all four made cuts have been T-20 or better, including last week's T-15 in Phoenix.

Group 4: Hudson Swafford: Big believer in his talent, but he's a hit-or-miss kind of pick. He has three missed cuts and two top 25s in his last five starts.