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BlogAT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Preview and Picks

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

February 6 – 9, 2014

Pebble Beach G.L.

Pebble Beach, Ca.

Par: 72 / Yardage: 6,816

Purse: $6.6 Million

with $1,188,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Brandt Snedeker

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 13 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with only two players #4 Phil Mickelson and #10 Jason Day from the top-ten. The other top 50 players are #12 Dustin Johnson, #15 Graeme McDowell, #16 Jordan Spieth, #17 Brandt Snedeker, #21 Jim Furyk, #31 Victor Dubuisson, #33 Hunter Mahan, #35 Jimmy Walker, #36 Nick Watney, #45 Patrick Reed and #49 Chris Kirk.

The field includes 11 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2014.  Those players are #1 Jimmy Walker, #5 Chris Kirk, #7 Kevin Stadler, #8 Dustin Johnson, #9 Patrick Reed, #14 Jason Boh, #17 Ryan Palmer, #19 Jordan Spieth, #21 Charley Hoffman, #22 Pat Perez and #25 Brendon Todd.

The field includes 10 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #1 Jimmy Walker, #5 Chris Kirk, #7 Dustin Johnson, #8 Kevin Stadler, #11 Patrick Reed, #15 Jason Bohn, #19 Jordan Spieth, #21 Ryan Palmer, #22 Pat Perez and #23 Charley Hoffman.

The field includes 6 past champions: Brandt Snedeker (2013), Phil Mickelson (2012, 07, ’05 & 1998),D.A. Points (2011), Dustin Johnson (2010 & ’09), Vijay Singh (2004) and Davis Love III (2003 & ’01).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am field is our performance chart listed by average finish. Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Be sure to join us on Saturday evening for our new feature, Who should win on Sunday.  We will look at the first three rounds and see why the leaders are playing well and what it will take to win on Sunday.  That’s Saturday night a couple of hours after play is completed.

Here is our video preview of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am, perfect way to learn how to use Golfstats better and find some great picks for the week:

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Player Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Classic Farmers Insurance Open Qatar Masters Humana Challenge Abu Dhabi Championship Sony Open Volvo Champions Hyundai T of C
Patrick Reed
(185.67 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(22.67)
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(179 pts)
DNP T41
(9)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP
Pat Perez
(172.33 pts)
11
(39)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP
Ryan Palmer
(135.33 pts)
T48
(2)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(100)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP
Kevin Stadler
(132 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T78
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
K.J. Choi
(128 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP
Phil Mickelson
(103 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP
Charley Hoffman
(100 pts)
T61
(0)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Day
(100 pts)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jimmy Walker
(97.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T21
(19.33)
Jerry Kelly
(97 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP 3
(60)
DNP DNP
Brendon Todd
(93 pts)
DNP DNP T37
(13)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP
Jordan Spieth
(91 pts)
DNP DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 2
(66.67)
Chris Kirk
(89.33 pts)
76
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP T16
(22.67)
Will MacKenzie
(85.33 pts)
DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP T13
(37)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Matt Every
(83.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP
Hunter Mahan
(83 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP T47
(3)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Jones
(82 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP T43
(7)
DNP T13
(37)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chad Collins
(74.67 pts)
DNP DNP T28
(22)
DNP 8
(50)
DNP T46
(2.67)
DNP DNP
Brendan Steele
(72 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP T28
(22)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Russell Knox
(70.33 pts)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP T13
(37)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Kevin Na
(66.33 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP T48
(2)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP
Seung-Yul Noh
(54 pts)
DNP T48
(2)
T10
(40)
DNP T38
(12)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP
Stuart Appleby
(52 pts)
DNP DNP T43
(7)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP DNP
Hudson Swafford
(48.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T25
(25)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Player Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Classic Farmers Insurance Open Qatar Masters Humana Challenge Abu Dhabi Championship Sony Open Volvo Champions Hyundai T of C
Danny Lee
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Mike Weir
(-31.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Lucas Glover
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Paul Goydos
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP
Tommy Gainey
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T70
(0)
DNP DNP
Richard H. Lee
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jeff Maggert
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Edward Loar
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Andrew Loupe
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Troy Matteson
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The PGA Tour season is officially a quarter of the way over and with 10 players winning 11 events (Jimmy Walker won twice) we are seeing a lot of parity.  Now the good folks at Ponte Vedra smile with that word but for the fans having winners like Chris Kirk, Ryan Moore, Patrick Reed, Scott Stallings and Kevin Stadler are nice but not memorable.  I think more folks have better memories of Phil Mickelson’s Phoenix win last week than they do of Kevin Stadler’s win on Sunday.  I am not taking anything away from his victory, even though it was more the case of Bubba Watson handing the win over to him with some bad play down the stretch.  Still Stadler did make the big time birdie at 17 and played 18 the way it was suppose to.

But back to the point, parity.  We are going to see a whole lot of parity in three weeks when the top-64 gather in Tucson for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Look at how the winners of 2014 are climbing up the world rankings which are allowing them to play in not only the Accenture Match Play later this month but also getting them into majors.

  • Jimmy Walker ranking before Frys.Com win: 63         Ranking today: 35
  • Chris Kirk ranking before McGladrey win: 94              Ranking today: 49
  • Harris English ranking before Mayakoba win:68         Ranking today: 42
  • Patrick Reed ranking before Humana win: 69            Ranking today: 45
  • Scott Stallings ranking before Farmers win: 112        Ranking today: 54
  • Kevin Stadlerranking before Phoenix win: 121           Ranking today: 57

The PGA Tour doesn’t have a parody on newcomers to the Accenture Match Play, here is a look at how some of the European Tour winners in 2014 who will find there way to Tucson:

  • Pablo Larrazabal ranking before Abu Dhabi win:101      Ranking today: 56
  • Stephen Gallacher ranking before Dubai win: 67            Ranking today: 37

It’s funny to look back and see some of the players that have made some remarkable climbs to play in this year’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship:

  • Jordan Spieth who is currently 16th in the rankings – was 695th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Hideki Matsuyama who is currently 22nd in the rankings – was 143rd the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Victor Dubuisson who is currently 31st in the rankings – was 138th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Graham DeLaet who is currently 26th in the rankings – was 147th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Jimmy Walker who is currently 35th in the rankings – was 76th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Harris English who is currently 42nd in the rankings – was 142nd the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Joost Luiten who is currently 43rd in the rankings – was 111th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Patrick Reed who is currently 45th in the rankings – was 370th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Jonas Blixt who is currently 46th in the rankings – was 91st the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Chris Kirk who is currently 49th in the rankings – was 75th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Scott Stallings is currently 54th in the rankings – was 115th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Pablo Larrazabal is currently 56th in the rankings – was 109th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Kevin Stadler is currently 57th in the rankings – was 96th the week of last year’s Accenture
  • Mikko Ilonen is currently 58th in the rankings – was 203 the week of last year’s Accenture

So as you can see, the field for this year’s Accenture is going to look a bit different with less marquee names playing.

Monterey Peninsula to stay with the AT&T through 2020

One of the best changes that the AT&T did was replace Poppy Hills in 2010 with the Shore Course of Monterey Peninsula.  Poppy Hills was ok, but it never filled the shoes that it needed to fill when it was switched from Cypress Point to Poppy in 1991.  With the change it elevated the tournament, having a third course that was not only nicer on the players but also within sight and sound of the sea.  It was a basic experiment when the course got the AT&T in 2010, the club was looking to showcase the course that got a substantial renovation in 2009.  The thought was always that Monterey Peninsula would take over for a few years, long enough for the folks to renovate Poppy Hills and bring that course back into the rotation.  Work on Poppy Hills started last year and the reopening is going to be in April of this year but the sad news for Poppy it will be a while for any chance to get back into the AT&T rota.

With the Monterey Peninsula contract set to expire after this year’s event, many felt that it would switch back next year to Poppy Hills.  Well that’s not going to happen.

Last week officials of the AT&T and Monterey Peninsula inked out a new seven year deal that will keep the AT&T on the Monterey Peninsula courses through 2020.  Their is also a provision in the contract that the other sister course, the Dunes which held the AT&T between 1947 and 1964 could replace for a year the Shore course once it’s renovations are completed, which should be around 2016.

This is a win-win for the AT&T, to continue playing at Monterey Peninsula which the pros and amateurs all love.

Things you need to know about the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

This and the Humana are the only events played on three different courses. Each player and team will play one round at Pebble Beach (which is the host course), Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula C.C. After Saturday the cut is made and the final round is played at Pebble Beach.  The AT&T is really two tournaments in one.  The field are paired with an amateur partner and play the first three rounds together, with a pro leaderboard and a pro-celebrity leaderboard for the amateurs.  After 54 holes a cut is made, approximately 25 low teams of the best amateurs/pros will make it to the final day at Pebble Beach.

This is the last of the big time pro-celebrity events on the PGA Tour.  The Humana use to be the Bob Hope and at one time had a good field of celebrities, but now has has dropped that format.  The bad news is that crowd favortie Bill Murray will not be back.  He has been the highlight of the tournament for over two decades including his pro-am victory in 2011.  This will be the first time that Murray won’t play in five years due to a film commitment.  Some of the celebrities playing are Don Cheadle, Kurt Russell, Matt Cain, Andy Garcia, Kid Rock, Wayne Gretzky, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ray Romano and Andy Roddick.

For some the AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am is the greatest.  Played at one of the most speculator places in all the world, on three of the greatest courses in the world.  On top of that the Monterey area offers a lot to do with great places to go like the Monterey aquarium, some great restaurants and bars plus you can’t beat a walk around the village of Carmel after the tournament is over.

For others playing playing in foursomes with amateurs means rounds sometimes going six hours which for many isn’t their cup of tea.  Still it’s a staple on the PGA Tour and one of the most unique events in golf.

Last chance to get into the WGC-Accenture Match Play

Last thing, we talked before about the Accenture Match Play Championship which will be played in three weeks in Tucson.  This is the last week that players can get into the top-66 of the world rankings (66 because Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson say they aren’t playing) which will get them into that event.  So look at some tense moments for some players on Sunday that are on the bubble.

Here is the list of those on the bubble and what they are doing this week. A bit surprising that so many have decided to take a pass this week, could open up spots for those in the 70s of the rankings:

  • #60 – Bernd Wiesberger – Not playing this week, shouldn’t be a problem
  • #61 – Peter Hanson – Not playing this week, may be safe
  • #62 – Marc Leishman – Not playing this week, will cut it close
  • #63 – Boo Weekley – Not playing this week, could be hurt, may drop out of top-66
  • #64 – Richard Sterne – Playing in the Joburg
  • #65 – Scott Piercy – Not playing this week, could drop out of top-66
  • #66 – Kiradech Aphibarnrat – Playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am
  • #67 – Brendon de Jonge – Not playing this week, could be hard getting in the top-66
  • #68 – Brooks Koepka – Not playing this week, no chance at getting into match play
  • #69 – Peter Uihlein – Not playing this week, no chance at getting into match play
  • #70 – Kim Hyung-sung – Not playing this week, no chance at getting into match play
  • #71 – Angel Cabrera – Not playing this week, no chance at getting into match play
  • #72 – Charles Howell III -Not playing this week, no chance at getting into match play
  • #73 – Bo Van Pelt – Playing in the AT&T, could have a good chance with those in front not playing
  • #74 – George Coetzee – Not playing this week, no chance at getting into match play
  • #75 – D.A. Points – Playing in the AT&T, could have a good chance with those in front not playing

Course information:

  • Pebble Beach Golf Links
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 6,816 yards     Par 36-36–72
  • Course has a 74.4 rating and slope rating of 142 fron the championship tees Pebble Beach Golf Links is resort and open to the public.
  • In 2013 the Pebble Beach was the 29th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 71.412 average.

Course designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant in 1919,  Revised in 1928 by Henry Chandler Egan.  Between then and 1997 there were little minor changes done to the course.  But in 1998 the biggest changed happend when the par-three 5th hole was rebuilt.  The redesign was done by Jack Nicklaus and the hole was relocated about 100 yards away, along a 50-foot cliff over the pacific.  At a cost of $3 million, the new hole could be one of the most expensive holes that hold a PGA Tour event.  Its funny to compare the cost.  $3 million for one hole in 1999, the total cost to build the course in 1919 and that included the money spent on at the time was the first automatic sprinkling system in golf was a mere $66,000.

The course is situated on the Monterey Peninsula, its 120 miles south of San Francisco, Pebble Beach is considered the most spectacular golf course in all the world.

Despite it official name, the course is not a true links course because it is set on craggy cliffs above Carmel Bay.  Eight of the holes skirt the coastline and it’s these holes that distinguish Pebble Beach.

The land was owned by Samuel Morse, who was the nephew of the inventor of the telegraph and Morse code.  Morse had an eye for the natural beauty of the Monterey Peninsula and bought 7,000 acres of the Penisula, including seven miles of Pacific oceanfront for $1.3 million in 1915.  Morse then formed the Del Monte Propertes company and had a vision of a resort with a golf course on prime acreage that ran along the bluffs above Carmel Bay.  Instead of selling the ocean front property for homesites, Morse built his golf course.  One of his real estate agents was Jack Neville, who won the California Amateur Championship and even though Neville had never built a course before, Morse decided to give him a chance to handle the design.  Neville asked another California Amateur Champion, Douglas Grant, to help him on the project and they spent a month routing the 18 holes.

In 1918 the course was opened for play, but in the inaugural competition the course was deemed to be unplayable for the average golfer and was closed for revision.  Neville and Grant softened it up and in 1919 it was again open for play.<P>

Over the course of the next ten years the course was modified by Neville and Grant, and in 1928 H. Chandler Egan, Robert Hunter and Roger Lapham strengthened the course for the 1929 U.S. Amateur.  Since then the course has remained basically the same, except for the redesign of the fifth hole, which is certainly an endorsement of the sound design of Neville and Grant.

Nine holes at Pebble are set along the rocky shores of Carmel Bay.  They are the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 17th and 18th.  The 18th hole is considered by many as the best finishing hole in golf.  It was originally a par 4 of 379 yards until Egan changed it into a par 5 of 550 yards.

Pebble Beach has held many tournaments, the U.S. Open (1972, ’82, ’92, 2000 and in 2010), the PGA Championship (1977),  four U.S. Amateurs (1929, ’47, ’61 & ’99), the 1989 Nabisco Championship and is the host course for the annual AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am which at one time was the Bing Crosby.

The average green size at Pebble is 3,580 square feet which makes the greens the smallest that are used on the PGA Tour.  The course has 92 bunkers and water comes in play on nine holes along the Pacific.

Other courses used in the rota:

  • Spyglass Hill Golf Course
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 6,953 yards     Par 36-36–72
  • Course has a 75.3 rating and slope rating of 148 fron the championship tees.  Course is resort and open to the public.
  • In 2013 the Spyglass Hill was the17th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 72.641 average.

Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1966.  The course was the built thanks to Samuel Morse who had orginally thought of building it as part of the Lodge at Pebble Beach.  The course was to be called Pebble Beach Pines Golf Club but Morse changed it to Spyglass Hill.  That was in part due to his friend Robert Louis Stevenson who got his inspiration for his book Treasure Island while visiting the area in which Spyglass was built.

Spyglass is a mix of several different courses.  The first five holes go down through sand dunes and offer magnificent views of the Pacific.  The next couple of holes play back into the pines, still offering ocean views.  The last nine you wouldn’t even know that the ocean is a mile away, the holes play through Monterey pines.  Spyglass is a totally different course than Pebble.  While the greens at Pebble are small, those at Spyglass are large and undulating.  Weather is a big part of Pebble, while it can be blowing up a storm there, Spyglass which is just a couple miles away could be calm.  When Spyglass first opened up it annually would drive the pros that played in the Crosby crazy and would be among the hardest courses on Tour.  It’s still one of the toughest courses on tour but the course has soften with time and now there is nothing but praise about the course.

  • Monterey Peninsula C.C. Shore Course
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 6,838 yards     Par 34-36–70
  • Course has a 73.3 rating and slope rating of 133 fron the championship tees.  Course is private.
  • In 2013 the Shore Course was the 21st hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 70.244 average.

Monterey Peninsula Country Club was founded on January 19, 1925. Samuel Finley Brown Morse, president and general manager of the Del Monte Properties Company.  The club has two clubs, the Dunes Course was originally designed by Charles B. MacDonald and Seth Raynor in 1925. The Dunes Course was redesigned and rebuilt in 1998 by Rees Jones and was the site of the Bing Crosby Pro-am for 18 consecutive years beginning in 1947, and then shifted to the Shore Course in 1965 and 1966. In 1967, the tournament was moved to Spyglass Hill Golf Course. The Crosby later returned to MPCC in 1977.<P>

The Shore Course, site of this year’s AT&T was originally designed by Robert Baldock and Jack Neville. Construction began in 1960, and the course was opened for play in 1961. Reconstruction of the Shore Course began in February 2003, and the new course was opened in June 2004. Golf course architect Mike Strantz created a links-type golf course on the Club’s ocean-side property. For the AT&T the course will play at a par 70 and at 6,838.

Two things will come into play this week at the Shore course, one is how it won’t be protected from the elements of wind off the ocean.  The course it replaced, Poppy Hills was very well protected with big pines but that won’t be the case here, so if you get unlucky and are paired on this course on a poor day it could put you out of the tournament.  The second tough element will be the greens, they average 7,000 and Mike Strantz made them tough and it will take a lot of local knowledge to be able to read them.  Most of the pros in the field are making sure to play the Shore Course and they all are saying the same thing, the greens will be tough this week.

Golf’s DL injury report:

  • Darren Clarke hurt is chest while practicing two weeks ago in Qatar.  Disappointing because he has worked so hard on not only his game, but his body losing almost 50 pounds. Still no word on his next start, it was suppose to be next week at the Northern Trust.
  • Boo Weekley has not been heard from since he withdrew from the Humana almost three weeks ago, citing an injured knee.  Not playing this week, has only played in one AT&T in the last seven years.  Also has never played in the Northern Trust so maybe we won’t have a Boo sighting till Honda.
  • J.B. Holmes has made a nice recovery after spending 11 months on the DL list for an elbow surgery.  THe last three years hasn’t been kind to Holmes.  First it was brain surgery not once but twice to help him with vertigo which was caused by a structural defects in the cerebellum known as Chiari malformations.  In returning he pushed too hard and got a bad case of tennis elbow, but the blow was after the Honda when he feel off his roller blades and broke his left ankle.  With him not able to play he had surgery on his elbow and is finally coming back, playing in the Farmers.  That was a success with him finishing T23rd, then he returned to Phoenix the site of his two PGA Tour wins and finished T58th.  He’s moving on to the AT&T and feeling great.
  • Freddie Jacobson withdrew from the Farmers for an undisclosed injury.  We hope it’s not the thumb injury that he had two years ago, maybe it was the 81 he shot.  Still is playing this week at the AT&T which is a good sign.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am:

Key stat for the winner:

The AT&T Pebble Beach brings on some special problems, it takes a lot of patience to endure this week with amateur partners.  Another problem is the luck of the draw, someone could be playing at Spyglass which is tree lined on the back nine and may not get the brute of a heavy wind that some players encounter at Pebble Beach and Monterey Peninsula.  For some that play in the late afternoon the conditions of the greens get dicey, especially since Poa Annua greens get bumpy and hard to predict.  So it takes a special breed of player to endure this.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • Unimportant stat:  Interesting to point out that since 1990 most of the AT&T champions are veterans in not only this event but also playing in pro-am’s.  Even guys like Steve Lowery who won in 2008 is a 20 year PGA Tour veteran.  The only exception was D.A. Points in 2011, Dustin Johnson the two years before Points and Brett Ogle in 1993, even Matt Gogel, winner in 2002 was also a young pro but he had the experience of leading the AT&T in 2000 to help him.  The point here, don’t look for any inexperienced players winning here, in it’s history going back to 1950 only one pro has won on his first visit to Pebble and that was Ogle.
  • Now this doesn’t rule out the fact that a rookie or a person with very little experince could win. Look at D.A. Points in 2011, he missed three out of four cuts before winning.  Some could call this a flunk, I feel that having Bill Murray as his partner helped him and without Murray, Points probably would of never won.  Also look at Dustin Johnson, who won at age 24 & 25. In 2009 Johnson was a surprise winner because he won due to weather reducing the event to 54 holes, it’s always easy to win a tournament that you lead after 54 holes.  One big problem in this event, don’t expect the first round leader to win, yes it happened four of the last six years.
  • The best kept secret of this event between 1981 and 2005 was that done of the first round leaders went on to win.  But Phil Mickelson started a trend in 2005 that 5 of the last 9 winners, Mickelson twice, Johnson twice and Points were in the lead after the first day.  Can this continue, realistically no because of the nature of using three courses.  But again anything is possible in golf.
  • One streak that will stay intact is that in the previous 54 years of the Humana Classic, nobody has ever won both the AT&T and the Humana in the same year.  Since Humana winner Scott Stallings isn’t in the field, that streak will continue for a 55th year.
  • Putting is always a key at the AT&T especially since the tricky poa annua greens tend to get very bumpy in the afternoon.  Those that are able to deal with it will be ahead of the game mentally.
  • Look for someone that either hits lots of greens or putts very well to win.  He also has to play very well over the weekend, that seems to be the key with the rest of the winners.  One last item, scrambling is very important and that is almost as important of a stat as hitting lots of greens.  With small greens at Pebble look for short game wizardly to do the job.
  • Weather is always a factor in the AT&T.  Even though good weather is predicted this year, it’s hard to predict what the weather is going to be like on the Monterey Peninsula, which gets a lot of wind. Still for the week players won’t have to bother with wet suits and umbrellas.
  • Look for all the courses to be firm and dry.  With the lack of rough long hitters could be favored this week.

 Lastly and very important, to win you have to make sure that you play well at Spyglass Hill.  In a way that is the hardest of the courses and a good round there gives you a big advantage.  Perfect example was in 2005 with Phil Mickelson, he opened up with a 62 at Spyglass, shattering it’s scoring record and was able to build upon that great round:

Year                                                                          Spyglass score    (course average)   shots gained on field                                                                                                                                                                                          

  • 2013-Brandt Snedeker winner by 2 shots                       68                      (72.641)                  +4.641
  • 2012-Phil Mickelson, winner by 2 shots                          70                       (72.581)                  +2.581
  • 2011-D.A. Points, winner by 2 shots                                70                       (72.426)                 +2.426
  • 2010-Dustin Johnson, winner by 1 shot                           64                       (71.603)                 +7.603
  • 2009-Dustin Johnson, winner by 4 shots                         69                       (72.644)                 +3.644
  • 2008-Steve Lowery, won in playoff                                   69                       (73.206)                +4.206
  • 2007-Phil Mickelson, winner by 5 shots                           70                       (72.855)                 +2.855
  • 2006-Arron Oberholser, winner by 5 shots                       68                       (72.006)                 +4.006
  • 2005-Phil Mickelson, winner by 4 shots                           62                       (72.134)                +10.134

Be sure to join us on Saturday evening for our new feature, Who should win on Sunday.  We will look at the first three rounds and see why the leaders are playing well and what it will take to win on Sunday.  That’s Saturday night a couple of hours after play is completed.

 

Who to watch for at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Best Bets:

Jason Day

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
6 T46 T14 6

A good pick, playing well and comes to an event he finished 6th at last year.

Dustin Johnson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT T5 T55 Win Win T7

Usually is solid as a rock on the Monterey Peninsula, look for another good week from him. Forgot what happened last year he will shine this week.

Pat Perez

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T50 T58 CUT T35 T39 T24 T57 T14 CUT T47 2

Call it a gut feeling but his game is on a high right now and comes to a place in which he almost won at over a decade ago, he is due for something good this week.

Best of the rest:

Hunter Mahan

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T16 T15 2 T64 T69 CUT T16 T14 T39 CUT

Great finish with a pair of 65s in Phoenix, knows how to play this course and put up some good finishes

Jimmy Walker

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 T9 T9 CUT T55 CUT

One of the hottest players in the game comes to an event he has been in the top-ten his last three starts, do we need to go further.

Brandt Snedeker

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
Win CUT T21 CUT T58 T36

Defender who may not be playing up to par right now but is very close.

Graeme McDowell

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT 8 CUT

Playing at Pebble for the first time since his U.S. Open victory, have to think those happy memories could create more happy memories.

Solid contenders

Patrick Reed

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T7

Still shinning from his Humana win, comes to a place where he had his first top-ten on the PGA Tour last year, good memories along with his solid four rounds from last year could be another good sign for him.

Aaron Baddeley

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T12 4 T6 CUT T19 CUT

A good place for his good putting, always seems to finish high in this event

Phil Mickelson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T60 Win T9 T8 T55 CUT Win T38 Win 3 64 CUT

Have to think that he will play well this week, seems to have come close in Phoenix and over his problems.

Chris Kirk

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
2 CUT T69

Have to remember what he did last year, was the launching pad for his great year.

Long shots that could come through:

Freddie Jacobson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T7 CUT T14 T38

Finished T7th last year, hopefully he is healthy and ready to go.

Spencer Levin

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T9 T4 T46 T14

Good record in this event, you have to like him to play well.

James Hahn

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3

Played well last year, been a slow 2014 but that could change.