Now, on to the picks for this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am!
One thing they always say in Vegas is ride the hot hand. (Well, actually, the other thing they always say in Vegas to me is “Sir, we’re going to have to ask you to stop blaming the dealer for your losses…” But I digress). So, keeping that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I am picking:
1. RAZR FIT XTREME to win…er…Phil Mickelson to win. Sorry, I got confused there for a second. With all of Phil’s praise for the driver, I almost forgot that there was a Tour player on the other end of it doing the winning! Phil’s never looked better. Drove it with such confidence and made every putt. And oh the putting! He was making buckets. So Phil will win. And he might win by a lot.
2. Luke List. I took a week off from picking Luke List last week trying to have him avoid the jinx. But this week, Luke is poised for a great tournament. I texted him Monday night and asked him how he was feeling. Here’s his reply: “Stop texting me.” But I know that’s code for “I’m going to win this week.”
3. Dark Horse Alert! Dark Horse Alert! Tommy Gainey. He won the Callaway Invitational at Pebble in the Fall. He played in the group right in front of me at Spyglass on a 50 degree day when it was blowing and raining sideways and shot 68. Dude loves the Peninsula and will be a threat this week.
There you go. This event is not one of my favorites to watch. Love Pebble, MPCC, and Spy, but I can do without watching celebrities play golf. When I want to watch Tour golf, I want to watch Tour players. But that’s another story for another time…
Pick 1: Phil - Going with the obvious choice again this week, coming off a dominating performance with RAZR FIT XTREME in the desert. He won this tournament last year, shot a 62 at Spyglass a few years ago (which is like a 57 at a “normal” golf course) and we’re still on the left coast, where Phil racks up W’s.
Pick 2: Brian Stuard - Off to a great start in 2013 with 2 top-10′s in his first three events. Stuard is coming into the bay area playing well and Callaway Tour Reps are chattering about how good this kid is.
He hits greens and makes putts (7th in strokes gained) which will be key with small greens at Pebble. If it gets cold, I like his chances even more. Growing up in Michigan, he can obviously golf his ball when the weather is cold and wet.
Pick 3: Jim Furyk. Crafty vet making his first start of the year. He is a grinder, and with his sponsors, Callaway Golf & 5-Hour Energy, the LONG courses and LONG rounds with amateurs shouldn’t phase him a bit…
Jeff Newton (Tour Beat Writer)
Jeff’s Picks: Mickelson, Gainey, James Hahn
Pick #1 - Mickelson
I didn’t take Phil last week and look how that turned out. On the plus side, I did learn a few valuable lessons:
- When a hall of famer is playing an event he’s won twice before, make sure to pick said hall of famer.
- When the best “West Coast” player on Tour is playing in a “West Coast” event, make sure to pick that player.
- When in doubt, pick Phil Mickelson.
I don’t have any doubts about Phil this week. His swing looks great, he’s pummeling his RAZR Fit Xtreme Driver, and he’s making every putt he looks at.
Pick #2 - Gainey
He won here last year at the Callaway Invitational and has looked sharp so far this season. Gainey has good vibes and great memories on his side.
Pick #3 - Hahn
Hahn has been on point since his T4 finish in Palm Springs, plus the Bay Area resident feels right at home this week (he lives in Alameda). After posting a final round 62 last Sunday, his game is clearly in great shape. He’ll be confident and comfortable on these three great courses.
The Final Word
Jason Finley is out of the office this week and we’ve got to give him a quick shout out for picking Mickelson to win last weekend. Harry and Greg picked Phil too.
If ever there was a week for Lefty to go back-to-back, this is it. Hey, we’re just saying. For more on all of our PGA Tour staffers, please visit our Callaway Staff Pros page.