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In the last of the multi-course events for the foreseeable future, Tom Jacobs looks to break down each course, where the leaders on that course will come from and what it takes to play well at this unique test.

Pebble Beach Pro-Am First Round Leader Prediction and Picks: Back a Hot Start From Chase Seiffert

It is time for the final multi-course rotation event for the foreseeable future, and we have some familiar courses here to look into.

Pebble Beach Golf links have been used since 1947, and Spyglass Hill first hosted in 1967, had a two-year hiatus after the 1976 renewal, and then from 1978 onward has been a mainstay of this event. Monterey Peninsula CC was used in 1965, 1966, and 1977 but didn't get a regular spot until 2010, and barring last year, where just two courses were used, it has been used ever since.

The Poa Annua greens that we have seen in California the past two weeks will be familiar for the players and readers, and there is plenty of course form to peruse for a lot of the field, so our previous two articles on this event are worth checking out first.

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First Round Leader Strategy

This tends to change week-to-week depending on weather and course conditions but we tend to target early tee times when playing Stateside, as that seems to give players an edge as they’re out in generally calm conditions, with the best greens and smaller crowds unless in a marquee group, giving them a chance to string together their round in peace.

This week we have three courses to analyze, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill GC, and Monterey Peninsula CC.

Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill are both Par 72's, while Monterey Peninsula is a Par 71, which usually features the best scoring average.

All three courses feature Poa Annua greens, but the starkest difference between the three courses is the majority of Spyglass Hill is tree-lined, while Pebble Beach and Monterey Peninsula are exposed to the elements.

This week, it will be essential to look at the weather report, as the scores can vary wildly on both Pebble and Monterey, depending on the wind.

Here are the best scores in each individual course over the past 10 years.

Below is the lowest Round 1 scores shot at Pebble Beach Golf Links over the past 10 years:

  • 2021 - Patrick Cantlay (10:20 am) - 62
  • 2020 - Chase Seiffert (8:22 am) - 66
  • 2019 - Si Woo Kim (9:50 am) - 66
  • 2018 - Beau Hossler (8:22 am) - 65
  • 2017 - Mark Hubbard (7:00 am) - 69
  • 2016 - Freddie Jacobson (8:55 am) - 65
  • 2015 - J.B. Holmes (8:11 am) & Justin Hicks (9:17 am) - 64
  • 2014 - Jimmy Walker (8:55 am) - 66
  • 2013 - Hunter Mahan (9:50 am) - 66
  • 2012 - Danny Lee (9:28 am) - 63

Below is the lowest Round 1 scores shot at Montery Peninsula over the past 10 years:

  • 2021 - N/A
  • 2020 - Nick Taylor (9:39 am) - 63
  • 2019 - Brian Gay (9:39 am) & Scott Langley (10:01 am) - 64
  • 2018 - Aaron Wise (10:12 am) - 65
  • 2017 - Brandt Snedeker (9:50 am) and Jordan Spieth (8:06 am) - 68
  • 2016 - Chez Reavie (9:06 am) - 63
  • 2015 - Brandt Snedeker (9:06 am) & Chesson Hadley (8:11 am) and Jim Furyk (8:55 am) - 64
  • 2014 - Andrew Loupe (8:55 am) - 63
  • 2013 - Russell Knox (8:44 am) - 64
  • 2012 - Charlie Wi (9:39 am) - 61

Below is the lowest Round 1 scores shot at Spyglass Hill CC over the past 10 years:

  • 2021 - Will Gordon (9:47 am) - 66
  • 2020 - Patrick Cantlay (8:00 am) - 66
  • 2019 - Cody Gribble (8:22 am) - 66
  • 2018 - Kevin Streelman (8:00 am) - 65
  • 2017 - Joel Dahmen (7:33 am), Rick Lamb (7:00 am) & Seung-Yul Noh (7:00 am) - 68
  • 2016 - J.B Holmes (8:22 am) & Justin Rose (9:06 am) - 66
  • 2015 - Alex Prugh (9:28 am) - 66
  • 2014 - Jordan Spieth (9:17 am) - 67
  • 2013 - Seung-Yul Noh (8:33 am) - 67
  • 2012 - Nick Watney (8:11 am) - 66

Who in this field started fastest on Tour last season?

Here are the 10 fastest starters in the field based on Round 1 Scoring Average in the 2020/21 PGA Tour season.

  • Cameron Tringale (3rd overall in 2020/21 – Scoring Average 69.23) – Low Opening Round – 66 (Shriners and Valero Texas Open)
  • Brian Harman (T5 overall in 2020/21 – Scoring Average 69.37) – Low Opening Round – 65 (Shriners and Open Championship)
  • Patrick Cantlay (T7 overall in 2020/21 - Scoring Average 69:50) - Low Opening Round - 62 (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am)
  • Seamus Power (10th overall in 2020/21 – Scoring Average 69.59) – Low Opening Round – 65 (Twice)
  • Chris Kirk (19th overall in 2020/21 – Scoring Average 69.72) – Low Opening Round – 64 (Wyndham Championship)
  • Nick Taylor (22nd overall in 2020/21 - Scoring Average 69.85) - Low Opening Round - 65 (Wyndham Championship)
  • Kevin Streelman (23rd overall in 2020/21 - Scoring Average 69.86) - Low Opening Round - 66 (Wyndham Championship)
  • Mark Hubbard (31st overall in 2020/21 - Scoring Average 70.03) - Low Opening Round - 63 (Phoenix Open)
  • Will Zalatoris (T32 overall in 2020/21 - Scoring Average 70.04) - Low Opening Round - 66 (St.Jude Invitational)
  • Stewart Cink (T32 overall in 2020/21 - Scoring Average 70.04) - Low Opening Round - 63 (RBC Heritage)

What score is required to lead after round 1?

This is going to differ across the three courses this week, so I am going to average out the last 10 scores on each of the three courses, to understand what score is likely to be required.

At Pebble Beach Golf Links the average leading score of the past 10 renewals has been 65.4. The most common leading score in this 10-year span is 66 (four times) and I think that is a reasonable target. I am happy to round up the average from 65.4 instead of rounding down to 65 due to Cantlay's 62 last year and Danny Lee's 63 in 2012 only happening once each.

At Monterey Peninsula, the average leading score over the past 9 renewals (didn't feature in 2021) has been 63.89. The leading score over the past 9 renewals has been 63 three times and 64 three times as well, so the 63 is a solid target. The 68 Jordan Spieth led with in 2017 was an outlier, as was Charlie Wi shooting 61 in 2012, so I think 63 is the perfect target.

At Spyglass Hill the average leading score over the past 10 renewals has been 66.3. Given the leading score has been 66 in six of the last ten years at Spyglass Hill, this is the obvious target. Regardless of the weather, 65 has been the lowest score over the past decade and only happened once, so 66 is likely to be enough.

GolferPebble Beach Odds
Patrick Cantlay+750
Daniel Berger+1400
Will Zalatoris+1800
Jason Day+2200
Jordan Spieth+2200
Justin Rose+2800
Maverick McNealy+2800
Cameron Tringale+3000
Seamus Power+3000
Matt Fitzpatrick+4000

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The Favorites

Jason Day to post the lowest round 1 score at Pebble Beach (+1200) (Bet $100 to Win $1200)

No shocks here. One of the outright favorites, Jason Day is expected to post the lowest score at Pebble Beach on Thursday, and for good reason.

Three times in the past 12 years, Jason Day has posted final rounds of 67 on this golf course,

A lot of his best scoring however has unsurprisingly come on the easier Monterey Peninsula, so I am happy to chance he will go lower there, rather than start the fastest on this course.

Patrick Cantlay to post the lowest round 1 score at Pebble Beach (+900) (Bet $100 to Win $900)

The outright favorite and highest-ranked player in the field is the obvious choice for favoritism here, and like the outright market, he shaves it over Daniel Beger, while Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth are lively runners.

Cantlay opened with a round of 66 on this course in 2013 and 2018, so while I expect him to shoot similar this week, I will take him on with another player, in the hope he can carry on shooting 66 here, and they can post 64 or 65.

Seamus Power to post the lowest round 1 score at Spyglass Hill (+1400) (Bet $100 to Win $1400)

Power is the most in-form player, who is set to tee it up at Spyglass Hill on Thursday, and he did shoot a 68 round there in round 2 in 2020, which was good enough to be within 2 of Cantlay's best of 66, and was the only time he's broken 70 in this event.

Given his improvements in the past couple of years, there is every reason to think he can match that score and probably better it this week and he's rightly the favorite.

I have two I like on this course on Thursday so I will look elsewhere, but I understand why he leads the market.

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First Round Leader Picks

Pebble Beach

Chase Seiffert to post the lowest round 1 score at Pebble Beach (+4500) (Bet $100 to Win $4500)

I have gone for value virtually across the board here, as I look to take on the favorites at each of the courses, and Chase Seiffert can do that this week.

He opened with a 66 here in 2020, the lowest round on the course that day, and he teed off at 8:22 am that day, and is only 30 minutes behind this time.

The last time we saw him, Seiffert missed the cut at Sony, but he shot a second-round 66 to leave him just one shy of the cut line, and his start before that he shot a 65 in round two of the Bermuda.

For one round, I think Seiffert can get hot, as he has shown he's capable of in the past.

Chase Seiffert will tee off #1 tee at 8:52 am, at Pebble Beach with Dylan Wu.

Jimmy Walker to post the lowest round 1 score at Pebble Beach (+5000) (Bet $100 to Win $5000)

This is a long shot by all accounts, and it really just comes down to how Walker, who suffers from Lyme disease, is feeling on day one of this event.

His event record is obviously superb, running out as the winner in 2014 and finishing inside the top-11 a further four times, all in a seven-year span. The worry now of course is that he's missed his last three cuts here and the game might be passing him by.

We don't need to rely on a good performance overall though, we just need him to shoot a 66 on Day One on this golf course to have a chance, something he did to lead the scoring on this golf course back in 2014 when he won.

A year prior to his victory in 2013, he shout weekend rounds here of 67-66 and he continued those scores right through to 2017. Another 67 in round 2 for Walker in 2015, a blitzing 63 to make a charge at the leaders on Saturday in 2016, and a final-round 67 in 2017 all show that he feels comfortable on this layout.

Now the elephant in the room. Three missed cuts over the past three visits. Four missed cuts in his last six starts. Where is this going to come from? The one and only time he's broken 70 at this event over the past three years is at Monterey Peninsula (Round 2, 2020) but there have been enough rounds in recent memory to let me think he can do something on Thursday at a course he loves.

Firstly, he made the cut at Torrey Pines last week, shooting 69 twice, once on the North and the other on the South on Saturday.

When finishing 65th in Hawaii, he posted a 2nd round 66 there and while that's only a Par 70 and he's a two-time champion there, I was still impressed enough to keep tabs. A further look back through the season also shows rounds of 68-66-67 at the Shriners and 2nd round 66 at the Sanderson Farms, so there's a chance just for one round, where he can take his time, that he can post a score. If it gets deeper than the average leading score he, like it did when Cantlay shot 62, forget about it, but at a more battling 66 I think he stands a chance.

Jimmy Walker will tee off #10 tee at Pebble Beach, at 09:25 with Joel Dahmen.

Also considered at Pebble Beach: Scott Piercy (+3300) (Bet $100 to Win $3300)

Spyglass Hill

Lucas Glover to post the lowest round 1 score at Spyglass Hill (+2000)

Lucas Glover has shot a 66 on this golf course back in 2016 and more recently a 68 in the opening round back in 2019, and I just think his ball-striking prowess will lead to him posting a low round on a tough layout, which he's accustomed to doing.

A 66 might do it again this week, and his recent form suggests that is more than possible. He posted weekend rounds of 64-65, after opening with rounds of 67-66 at the Sony Open. Glover also opened with a 66 at the AMEX a fortnight ago on Poa Annua greens.

Going back to round 3 of the CJ Cup and he also posted a third-round 65 there, so when he gets rolling, which we know he can, he can go deep, and doing so on this tougher layout would see him cash in this market.

He's ranked 35-1-24 in his last three starts in SG Approach which is typical of Glover and should he fire with his irons again, he could post a good opening round here.

Glover has been within two of the first-round lead 41 times in his career, and if he does that again this week, it will surely be with the lowest round at this golf course.

Lucas Glover will tee off #1 tee at Spyglass Hill, at 08:41 am with D.J. Trahan.

Seung-Yul Noh to post the lowest round 1 score at Spyglass Hill (+6600) (Bet $100 to Win $6600)

There is a short case for this and a long one, so I stick to the former because it should be enough to convince you.

Earlier in this article, I posted the last 10 lowest round 1 scores around Spyglass Hill, and only one name came up twice.. Seung-Yul Noh.

A day-one 67 here in 2013 was the best of the day, and then again in 2017 he shared the lowest Spyglass Hill round honors with Joel Dahmen and Rick Lamb, as the trio shot 68 around the toughest layout on the rotation.

Given the conditions on the other courses in 2017, his 68 that day was good enough for the share of the outright lead in the event itself, as the wind clearly affected those at Pebble and Monterey.

That won't be the case this week, but a 66 or 67 should be good enough again on this golf course, regardless of conditions, with only Kevin Streelman (65) breaking that 66-mark here over the past decade in round 1.

Noh is fighting his way back, with limited status and he's been playing some weekend golf of late, which is a good sign. After an MC-MC-WD start to the season, Noh has now made the cut in each of his last three starts and shown flashes of good stuff. When T30 at a windy Bermuda Championship, Noh shot rounds of 69-67-69 to close out, and more recently at the Amex he opened with a 68. He only just scraped through last week, but again a second-round 68 was reason enough to turn our attention to him this week, where a similar score would at least have us thinking.

Like Walker, it's a long shot but not one without merit.

Seung-Yul Noh will tee off #1 tee at Spyglass Hill, at 08:52 am with Sangmoon Bae

Also considered at Spyglass Hill: Chris Kirk (+2000) (Bet $100 to Win $2000)

Monterey Peninsula

Ryan Palmer to post the lowest round 1 score at Monterey Peninsula (+2500) (Bet $100 to Win $2500)

Ryan Palmer has started his last events with a 64 (Sony Open) and a 67 (Farmers), both of which put him in the top-5 to start the week, and I think he can go even better this time around.

He hasn't played this event often, but when he does he plays well on Monterey Peninsula, and I am willing to back he does the same tomorrow, when in a comfortable pairing with Jordan Spieth.

In the third round in 2012, Palmer torched this course with a 64 and two years later fired a 66 in round 2, so I think with some friendlier round 1 pins, he might just attack this again.

Palmer has been within two of the first-round lead 47 times in his career, and on 12 of those occasions was either the leader or co-leader, so I am happy to chance he goes deep on the easiest course of the three.

Ryan Palmer will tee #1 tee at Monterey Peninsula, at 9:36 am with Jordan Spieth.

Greyson Sigg to post the lowest round 1 score at Monterey Peninsula (+3300) (Bet $100 to Win $3300)

I am high on Greyson Sigg's overall chances this week, and while we don't know how he will play this golf course in particular, he has good memories of Pebble Beach, winning the carmel cup as an amateur.

He averages 67.80 in early round 1 scoring average this season, and should he replicate something like his opening 65 at the AMEX a couple of starts ago, he should have a run here.

He started 67-66 at the Sony Open, and his final round 64 at the Mayakoba shows his scoring prowess should the course play to his strengths.

Sigg is expected to perform well on these short courses where superior wedge and short iron play comes to the fore, and I will back him to go low on the earliest tee time on the easiest course.

Greyson Sigg will tee off #10 at Monterey Peninsula, at 8:30 am with Brandon Hagy.

Also considered at Monterey Peninsula: Alex Smalley (+3300) (Bet $100 to Win $2500) & Lee Hodges (+4000) (Bet $100 to Win $4000)

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Article Author


Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!


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