The one to be on: Phil Mickelson
I just don’t see how you can avoid having an interest in Lefty this week. Yes, his back nine 40 in the final round at Phoenix isn’t ideal.
I prefer to concentrate on how good his game looked before he tried to push too hard once he saw a couple of extra birdies would put him right in contention.
Add in it was only his third event back since recovering from double hernia surgery and there are plenty of positives for another good run on the Monterey Peninsula.
Mickelson’s record at Pebble Beach is immense. He’s won the tournament four times and really should have a fifth trophy on the mantelpiece. He missed a five-footer on the last when pipped by 1,000/1 shot Vaughn Taylor 12 months ago.
Mickelson’s still searching for his first win since the Open at Muirfield in 2013. But he’s putting himself in position and that’s enough to keep me interested.
At 20/1, I think you must have the five-time Major champion in your Pebble Beach betting army.
The each-way back: Jimmy Walker
Given he usually gets out of the blocks quickly, I’m slightly concerned that Jimmy Walker has missed his last two cuts.
But, at 40/1, there’s enough in his price to take a chance given his Pebble Beach performances.
In the last six renewals, the PGA champion has not finished lower than tied 21st and won the tournament in 2014.
Since 2011, his Pebble Beach form reads: T9, T9, T3, 1, T21, T11.
The dark horse: Cameron Smith
For every Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker, there’s a Charlie Beljan or Jim Renner that gets themselves into the each-way frame at Pebble Beach.
Cameron Smith seems to be getting the hang of PGA Tour life – the 23-year-old has missed just one cut so far this season.
Tied 11th last year, he was only let down by a second round 75, finishing with efforts of 69 and 70 following an opening 64.
Those numbers make me think Pebble Beach might be to his liking. He missed the cut in his first appearance in 2015 but 72 was his worst round.
At 125/1, it’s by no means outlandish to suggest he could parlay his consistent form this season into a challenge this week.