Pro-AM Picks

Brian Gabrielle from has the lowdown on the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM which runs from February 4th to February 10th. He also hands out some free picks and advices to put units on Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson and Jonathan Byrd.

Sunday went from bad to worse. It started with my head-to-head pick (Rory Sabbatini) finishing even with Steve Marino at the FBR Open. I had a chance to salvage the week in the outright but Phil Mickelson lost in a playoff to J.B. Holmes.

Then there was the Super Bowl. Lost in the endless talk about the miraculous Manning to Tyree throw and catch is the play that came before it. Manning sailed one down the right sideline and Patriots corner Asante Samuel took his eyes off the ball, missing a relatively easy pick. It would have ended the game.

Why did he take his eyes off the ball? Corners are programmed to look afield when they make an interception but in that situation a return wasn’t important, possession was. It was a bonehead play and it cost them the game. It can be argued that the Patriots didn’t deserve to win anyway, that they were outplayed and that the Giants still had to make big plays on that drive to win, which they did. But the contrast between the two back-to-back plays are a microcosm for the game and in the end the Giants wanted it more than the Pats did.

Back to golf. Tiger rolls on. He might not lose this year. Poor Ernie. He was just born at the wrong time I guess. Mickelson did everything right but make two long putts on 18. He’s playing well to start ’08, as usual, and I like him in any non-Tiger event. We have the return of the celebrities at this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Yippee. The good news is that this is the last waltz with the stars we’ll have to endure until the George Lopez Show invades Palm Springs again next year. And Pebble also has the Mercedes magic of breathtaking views. Either tournament is worth watching for the beach scenes alone.

Last week: So close but so … The head-to-head hurt especially because Sabbatini was ahead of Marino until Sunday.

At this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, take Phil Mickelson (4-1), 1/6 unit: I was happy to see him take 3-wood off the tee in the playoff hole, even after watching Holmes in regulation reduce the hole to pitch-and-putt after a monstrous drive, which he made even more monstrous on the playoff hole. Mickelson’s approach was about ten feet longer than I expected but under most circumstances he’s going to win with the more conservative approach off the tee. We all know this restraint could change in an instant but for now he’s looking real good. Scoring Average is usually a pretty good benchmark---he’s No.1 in the category.Also, he’s won three times at Pebble.

Take Brandt Snedeker (33-1), 1/6 unit: This guy keeps impressing. He looks like a cross between Opie and the banjo picker at the beginning of Deliverance, and like that kid he can play. He’s got two top-10s in four tourneys this year, including a T9 last week. In his rookie campaign last year he finished T36 at Pebble.

Take Jonathan Byrd (33-1), 1/6 unit: Three-for-three making the cut this year and a T13 last week. Last time he played Pebble, in ’06, he finished T3.Excellent putter.

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