1. JB Holmes
A frequent visitor to Pebble Beach but has yet to register a win in 10 attempts at the California Coast track. Holmes though takes some nice form from last weekend into battle, finishing T24 after an opening day and closing afternoon 67, behind Hideki Matsuyama.
A four-time winner on Tour, he finished 10th and 11th in his last two trips here and if he can add another round in the 60s to this weekend’s score, could reward followers at a fair price each-way.
2. Phil Mickelson
So close to delivering a fifth win in his native California and the Mick won’t lack for hometown support to go one better this year.
Has yet to finish outside the Top 25 in three starts this year and is sure to be in and around the leaders come the weekend.
3. Brandt Snedeker
Hard to catch the Sned-meister but if he’s going to jump on board the birdie bus it’s usually at this track. A two-time winner in 2013 and 2015, Snedeker posted a MC in between and was outside the top 30 last year. But as he proved in the Ryder Cup, once he gets it on the dance floor he can out-putt anyone to the big prize.
4. Shane Lowry
The big man from Offaly is gradually shaking the mid-season rust off his clubs and showed various signs of life in Phoenix last week when posting a T16. If he keeps that up he’ll be back inside the top 50 in no time (starts the week in 53rd spot). Two visits here have yielded a 21st and 41st place finish so will need to go low to keep the cameras interested come Sunday.
5. Jordan Spieth
The younger-than-you’d-think Texan has been clocking up the air miles again early doors but has posted a T3-3-T9 finishes ahead of a trip to Spyglass Hill Golf Club. Four visits have seen Spieth finish 22-4-7-21 and he could do with an early confidence-boosting win in 2017 to back up his two victories in 2016.
6. Cameron Smith
The Aussie Tour maiden finished 11th here last year and may go under the radar as far as the ‘celebrities’ are concerned as they gravitate towards the players’ limelight.
Has played four tournaments since the turn of the year posting T27-MC-T33-T42 form figures to keep the dollars rolling in. However, if he can improve on last year’s finish, a shot at a life-changing cheque may come his way.
7. Justin Rose
We thought it would take old ‘Rosey’ a few tournaments to warm up, but a bit like the Atlanta Falcons, we’ve been taken by surprise.
The world no 12 jumped on the celebrity buzz for the first time last year when finishing sixth to outsider Vaughan Taylor – and is back for more.
Four rounds in the 60s saw him finish second to Justin Thomas at the Sony Open two weeks ago while a stray shot here and there turned those 60s to 70s in Phoenix and a share of fourth place.
He’s got the game and the bottle to hang in there along as he’s not paired with Justin Timberlake who could wreck his buzz.