The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is a coveted early season tournament. Hosted at the stunning coastal setting of Pebble Beach, the Pro-Am is a big charitable event, and garners a great deal of attention for the celebrities that participate. Year to year, there are consistent names like Bill Murray, who always graces Pebble Beach with his unique brand of humor.
This year’s other big names include Wayne Gretzky, football giants including Peyton Manning, his brother Eli, and Aaron Rogers. Comedians/actors Ray Romano and Larry the cable guy are there. “The Bachelor” fans will be psyched to hear that host Chris Harrison is playing. Other names include NFL commentator Tony Romo, actor Michael Pena, and even former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
These famous names play with the pros through the first three days in a two-man better ball format, but the pros keep track of their individual scores and are competing for the big money on Sunday.
Prize Money/Charitable Donations/Revenues
With a $7.8 million purse, and $1.4 million going to first place, this event is not exactly working with chump change. Perhaps more importantly though, are the charitable donation revenues that the event creates. The Monterey Peninsula Foundation is a nonprofit organization that puts the annual event together.
The foundation donates millions of dollars to organizations. According to the events website, In 2017/2018, the foundation said it donated $15.6 million to nonprofits in the fiscal 2017/2018 season. In 2018, the tournament brought in $2 million in ticket sales alone. But ticket sales are just a small piece of these big golf events. Corporate sponsors and general advertisers bring in large sums to get commercial time during the event. It is hard to find concrete information on exactly how large these revenues are from year to year, but when you consider that the foundation donates millions more than the purse or ticket sales, you can get an idea of how much money is moving.
Leaderboard/Betting Odds Going Into the Weekend
With the rising popularity of sports betting, the leaderboard going into the weekend has a major impact on weekend bets and the odds offered.
The leaderboard is shifting constantly throughout Friday, but here are some of the top favored names going into the weekend based on betting lines from Draftkings.
Patrick Cantlay +300
Dustin Johnson +700
Jason Day +1000
Phil Mickelson +1200
Nick Taylor +1200
Alexander Noren +1400
Scott Piercy +1600
Brandon Wu +2000
Lanto Griffin +3300
Viktor Hovland +3300
Paul Casey +4000
As the latter part of the day progresses, these lines will shift with the leaderboard of course, as well as with the speculative nature of sports betting lines. At the beginning of the tournament, Dustin Johnson was the favored player to win, with Patrick Cantlay and Paul Casey as close followers. Predictions on golf are obviously very challenging, and it will be interesting to how close the names finish on the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.