The following is an approach for playing this week’s DraftKings Pebble Beach Pro-Am. After football season ends, I shift my weekly focus over to all things golf because, for the most part, I need something to gamble on and have nothing better to do. The first step I take is to examine the field priced under 7k to try and identify the bargains for the week, and, more importantly, the hidden gems that–if they hit–are the selections that will net high place finishes potentially allowing you to quit your job. Each week I’ll be offering up my seven under seven suggestions here where I measure success with made cuts, top 25s, and so on. Here’s a summary of my first season with my last post documented here:
|TOURNAMENT||MISSED CUT||MADE CUT||TOP 25||TOP 10||Wins|
|PGA CHAMPIONSHIP *||1||6||0||0||0|
* One selection WD
Let’s get to it–Enjoy!
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Talor Gooch $6,900
This Oklahoma native was breaking 80 before he turned 7 years-old. While that is simply amazing, it also makes me seriously doubt if breaking 100 for the first time in my 30s puts me off track to get my tour card. The former child prodigy contemplated looking for a part-time gig when failing to earn his tour card in 2016 playing on Canada’s professional Mackenzie Tour. Instead, Gooch took his empty checking account, and chances to the Web.com tour in 2017 where he secured his card for the 2018 PGA Tour season last summer with a comeback win at The News Sentinel Open and a smooth $99,000 payday. So far in his debut season, the Oklahoma St. Cowboy has relished the opportunity making seven of eight cuts with three top 30 finishes, and a modest $284,785 in winnings over the last four months. It’s only a matter of time before this ultra talented 26 year old breaks through with his first top 5/10 finish, and is a perfect low usage candidate that would push your lineup to high place finishes when he does. Don’t wait on DraftKings to give him a profile picture before noticing the man named Gooch.
Maverick McNealy $6,600
Having yet to earn his card for the big tour, McNealy arrives at Pebble Beach on a sponsor’s exemption where he’ll look to make the weekend in his second straight start after posting his career best PGA event finish 29th place at the Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago. It’s not just his boyish good looks or billionaire lineage as to why I like him this week. It’s really mostly to do with the fact that he’s named after a personal hero of mine who I model my life after. I also appreciate the story this article details about how one of his three brothers came home with skinny jeans on and was mercilessly shamed by the other three to the point the jeans were never to be seen again. Toward the end of that article, the former Stanford star claims his ultimate goal is to be the number one player in the world. Similar to the way Viper prefers his pilots, I like that in golfer…
Jason Kokrak $6,900
After a career year in 2016 that looked to be the signs of another young player breaking out in his prime, Kokrak’s 2017 season was somewhat of a step back for the Canadian export. Okay. I know. Making 20 of 28 cuts and netting over $1.1 million is the greatest step back in history. But, it was more about 2017 lacking the high place finishes in the top 30 when he made the weekend that propelled his career bests of four top 10 finishes, $1.9 million in winnings, and 33rd ranking in FedEX Cup standings to finish 2016. Now that the PGA calendar flipped to 2018 last October, the Xavier University product’s play suggests missing out on the Tour Championship won’t be an option this season where he already has two top 10 finishes, and stayed around for the weekend in seven of eight starts. Kokrak has made the cut four times in six career appearances at Pebble with all four finishes 30th or higher including one top 10. He also retweeted JT’s new album dropping. Taking all this into consideration, Kokrak is my dark horse to get his first career PGA tour victory this weekend.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello $6,900
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I’m fairly certain this may be a pricing error missed by the DraftKings staff. The RCB is coming off the best year of his career which included a top career finish in a major with a T4 finish at The Open Championship just one week after his best career victory at the Scottish Open. Rafa also won big off the course last year marrying his hot wife pictured above. The 21st ranked player in the world has kept it going in the 2018 season making the cut in all eight of his starts between the European and PGA Tours including an impressive four top 10s. Do I care that he’s appeared only twice at Pebble, and his best result was a T64 in 2014? No, I don’t. Rafa and Mr. Kokrak might be going in all lineups this week.
Vaughn Taylor $6,900
One of Taylor’s three PGA Tour career victories (pictured above) came two years ago at Pebble Beach. In his other nine appearances there, the savvy veteran made it to Saturday five times including two finishes inside the top 15. Seeing that his 2017 season included zero top 10 finishes, I think it’s fair to say the two he already has in eight events makes the start to 2018 a very successful one for the Virginia native. He arrives at Pebble on the heels of a T11 finish at last weeks Waste Management Phoenix Open which was a loaded field. Not to mention, he shares a name with an actor most famous for his role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”, and was the first guilty character on Perry Mason. That has to mean something positive for this weekend, right?
Tom Hoge $6,600
After earning his tour card for the 2018 PGA season on the last day of the Web.com Tour this past fall, the TCU alum is playing like he wants to keep eating at the adult table. In his first nine starts this season Hoge has already earned more winnings than he did in all of 2015, 2016, and 2017 where he played in 26, 26, and 17 total events respectively. In those nine starts he’s managed to cash a check seven times with two top 10s including a career best 3rd place finish at the Sony Open in January. He missed the cut last week after six consecutive weekends played. I like this former accounting major to bounce back at Pebble this week continuing to build on an already career year in earnings, and career high FedEx ranking currently all the way up to 25th.
Russell Henley $6,600
Similar to the Rafa, this price is somewhat perplexing considering Henley is coming off a career year highlighted by his third career victory at the Shell Houston Open, career best finish T3 at the Tour Championship, and career high $3.4 million in winnings. Also Similar to the Rafa, he enjoys having a hot blonde for his wife.
Good luck at Pebble Beach! Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock.