AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks: Max Homa Poised To Break Through?

The Cali guys are worth watching this week


Jan 31, 2024

This is becoming a bit of a trend, but it’s another massive week on the PGA Tour, and that’s before they even put pegs in the ground.

It’s the unofficial kickoff to the 2024 season with what is technically the second “Signature Event” of the campaign, but the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is really the first full-field signature event on the calendar. Not only is there $20 million up for grabs among 80 players, the tournament comes on the heels of a potentially sport-altering agreement between the Tour and some very powerful sports owners.

As for the actual golf, this tournament will have a different feel. Only two of the three Pebble Beach courses are in the rotation — Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course — and the celebrity field for the pro-am has been drastically reduced. Sorry, Bill Murray.

Let’s dive in with our picks for the week with odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Pebble Beach Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Defending champion: Justin Rose
Favorites: Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler (+900)
Notes: The two-course rotation isn’t completely new; the Tour used the same setup in 2021 during COVID. Daniel Berger won with an 18-under finish. ? The greens at Pebble Beach itself are the smallest on Tour, favoring either the elite ball-strikers or the best short game. ? Can be one of the toughest courses to putt on, too. … Weather is always a factor. Last year’s finish was pushed to Monday, and the same could happen this year with Sunday’s forecast calling for rain and wind gusts approaching 60 mph.

First-round leader: Beau Hossler (+2800)
FanDuel has split its first-round leader market this week into two groups based on the course you’re playing. That’s good and bad news. The good news is that both markets are smaller, and it literally evens the playing field, so you won’t get nipped by a player who goes nuts on whatever course is playing easier. The bad news is the numbers reflect two markets, which is to say the long shots just aren’t there. Typically, you’re not going to feel good about Hossler at 28-1, but only 14 players on Spyglass have shorter odds. Hossler’s short game is his strength, and he’s good off the tee. He finished 11th here last year on the strength of a third-round 67 at Spyglass and comes in off a sixth-place finish at Torrey Pines last week and looks to build on a final-round 68.

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Top 20: Maverick McNealy (+400)
The McNealy thing is a little overplayed at this point, but he used to spend his summers at Pebble Beach, and his parents have a house on the property (they’re loaded). He typically putts well on Poa greens, as evidenced by his past performances in this tournament where he has two top-five finishes.

Top 10: Justin Rose (+650)
Recent form is not good. He finished 40th at the Sentry while losing strokes to the field, followed that up with a 57th-place finish at Sony and limped to 56th at Farmers last week. The tee-to-green game is a mess. However, Rose has the talent to turn things around quickly, and the vibes are good here. He’s the defending champion, which is nice, and it just feels like good value to get a future Hall of Famer at this price, even in a loaded field.

Winner: Max Homa (+1600)
At this point, Homa does just about everything well, but he hasn’t put it all together at once in his two starts in 2024. Last week, he was great around the greens and putted well but lost on approach. At the Sentry, he was second in the field in tee-to-green but finished 52nd of 59 in putting. The California kid hasn’t finished worse than 14th here since 2019. One other player we have circled, at 60-1, is Adam Scott, whose game fits the track well.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

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