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BlogAT&T Pebble Preview and Picks

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

February 9th – 12th, 2017

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach, CA

Par: 72 / Yardage: 6,816

Purse: $7.2 million

with $1,206,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Vaughn Taylor

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 33 of the top 100 and 17 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with four players #1 Jason Day, #4 Dustin Johnson, #6 Jordan Spieth and #10 Patrick Reed from the top-ten. The other top 50 players are #12 Justin Rose, #21 Matt Kuchar, #22 Phil Mickelson, #23 Jimmy Walker, #27 Brandt Snedeker, #32 J.B. Holmes, #35 Kevin Chappell, #36 Scott Piercy, #41 Jim Furyk, #42 Jon Rahm, #45 Gary Woodland, #47 William McGirt and #48 Kevin Kisner.

Last year there were 17 top-50 players in the field.

The field includes 15 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2017.  Those players are #3 Pat Perez, #5 Jon Rahm, #6 Mackenzie Hughes, #9 Rod Pampling, #10 Adam Hadwin, #11  Cody Gribble, #13 Gary Woodland, #14 Webb Simpson, #16 Jordan Spieth, #17 Justin Rose, #21 Scott Piercy, #22 C.T. Pan, #23 Chris Kirk, #24 Chez Reavie and #25 Martin Laird.

The field includes 13 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #3 Pat Perez, #5 Jon Rahm, #6 Mackenzie Hughes, #8 Rod Pampling, #11  Cody Gribble, #12 Gary Woodland, #13 Adam Hadwin, #15 Webb Simpson, #16 Jordan Spieth, #18 Justin Rose, #20 Scott Piercy, #21 C.T. Pan and #22 Chris Kirk.

The field includes 7 past champions: Vaughn Taylor (2016), Brandt Snedeker (2015 & ’13), Jimmy Walker (2014), Phil Mickelson (2012, ’07, ’05 & 1998), D.A. Points (2011), Dustin Johnson (2010 & ’09) and Vijay Singh (2004).

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.

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 Dubai Farmers Qatar Masters CareerBuilder Abu Dhabi Sony Open SBS T of C Hong Kong Australian PGA RSM Mayakoba Shriners Hospitals
Pat Perez
(197.33 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T69
(0)
T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
T7
(18.33)
Jon Rahm
(194 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T50
(0.33)
T15
(11.67)
Jordan Spieth
(165 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(60)
T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Adam Hadwin
(160 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP T49
(1)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
T27
(7.67)
Justin Rose
(146.67 pts)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Webb Simpson
(144.33 pts)
2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP T66
(0)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP T36
(4.67)
T24
(8.67)
T31
(6.33)
Dustin Johnson
(130 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
J.J. Spaun
(123.33 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T50
(1)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T57
(0)
T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Martin Laird
(120 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP T74
(0)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
T27
(7.67)
Tony Finau
(119.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
T9
(30)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T41
(3)
Phil Mickelson
(99 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chez Reavie
(96.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
T24
(8.67)
C.T. Pan
(94.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(20)
T46
(1.33)
T57
(0)
Gary Woodland
(93.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP
Sean O’Hair
(87.33 pts)
T47
(3)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
Patrick Reed
(78 pts)
T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Kisner
(75 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(25)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Richy Werenski
(69.33 pts)
DNP DNP T20
(30)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T50
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Stewart Cink
(66 pts)
DNP DNP T20
(30)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
T15
(11.67)
T15
(11.67)
Brandt Snedeker
(64 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T14
(24)
DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP
Mackenzie Hughes
(62.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T27
(15.33)
T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
T68
(0)
Cameron Smith
(58 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP T42
(2.67)
T10
(13.33)
Rod Pampling
(57.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
T17
(22)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
Chris Kirk
(53.33 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T7
(18.33)
T61
(0)
Michael Thompson
(51.67 pts)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Shane Lowry
(51 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP T33
(17)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
William McGirt
(51 pts)
T24
(26)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T49
(0.67)
T9
(30)
DNP DNP T27
(7.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Dominic Bozzelli
(50 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Tim Wilkinson
(49.67 pts)
DNP DNP T41
(9)
DNP T25
(25)
DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Jim Herman
(47.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 10
(26.67)
T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player Phoenix Dubai Farmers Qatar Masters CareerBuilder Abu Dhabi Sony Open SBS T of C Hong Kong Australian PGA RSM Mayakoba Shriners Hospitals
Ricky Barnes
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Matt Every
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Spencer Levin
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T67
(0)
T66
(0)
T72
(0)
K.J. Choi
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Steve Marino
(-32.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T28
(7.33)
T70
(0)
Chad Collins
(-30 pts)
T63
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Andrew Loupe
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
J.J. Henry
(-30 pts)
T66
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T60
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Steven Bowditch
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T51
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Zack Sucher
(-30 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The PGA Tour season is officially a quarter of the way over, and we are seeing a totally different list of winners than last year of parody as their were 12 different winners.  This year we have two multiple winners with Justin Thomas winning three different events and Hideki Matsuyama winning twice.  Another big deal is the fact that of the 11 different winners 8 of them are in their 20s and three of them are below 25 years old.  Once the west coast finishes next week in L.A. the fields and champions will change, still it will be interesting if the PGA Tour sticks to having younger winners than ever before.

Another big question for fantasy golf players is the status of Tiger Woods.  For many it’s time to hit the panic button, we all saw the same thing on Thursday when he shot a birdieless 77 in the first round at Dubai, Tiger walking gingerly and possibly suffering some back problems.  Now Tiger’s manger said the spams were nothing serious and with Monday just about over and not hearing anything from the Tiger camp, have to think he is back home in Florida with no problems and practicing for L.A.  As one person has pointed to me, he has a stake for his foundation in L.A. one of the reasons he is playing so maybe this will be a last minute call.  As for Woods game, have to say I am a bit disappointed, I honestly thought he would be better.  Still we only have the two rounds at Torrey and the one at Dubai to base anything off of so have to say it’s a bit early to write his obituary.

I have known Butch Harmon for close to 30 years and the time I spent with him was always great.  Listening to his stories is the best and I still think that Butch does better work in giving players confidence than in grooving a players swing.  I have listened to Butch many times talk about how great Tiger was, but at the same time when Tiger was having his domestic and back problems, Butch was always frank about Tiger’s future.  I saw a great article that Butch did with Sky Sports in which he paints a picture that isn’t very rosy.  I can only hope that in this case Butch is wrong but again in all of the years knowing him his instinct is the best.

I do think that if the time comes for a decision on his future as a player, Tiger won’t continue to go out there and embarrass himself.  I really think that Tiger will at least play in the Masters and would really like to make it to the summer before a serious decision happens.  I still feel that he has something left in the gas tank, guess we will just have to wait and see.  If not it would be a very sad ending to the best player I have ever seen play the game.

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

This and the CareerBuilder Challenge 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 are made and the final round is played at Pebble Beach.  The AT&T is really two tournaments in one.  The field is paired with an amateur partner and played the first three rounds together.  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 CareerBuilder, which was the Bob Hope use to have a good field of celebrities, but now the only one left is this event.  The good news is that crowd favorite Bill Murray is back, he has been the highlight of the tournament for over two decades, the best was when he won the pro-am in 2011.   Some of the celebrities playing are Mark Wahlberg, Andy Garcia, Kenny G, Huey Lewis, Chris O’Donnell, Ray Romano and Justin Timberlake. From the world of football Aaron Rodgers and Bill Belichick will play along with Hockey great Wayne Gretzky who will play with his daughters boyfriend Dustin Johnson.

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 with amateurs in foursomes with rounds sometimes going six hours this isn’t their cup of tea.  Still it’s a staple on the PGA Tour.

Another thing:

Since there is limited Shot-Link data we won’t have our fantasy key’s this week.

  • 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 from the championship tees Pebble Beach Golf Links is resort and open to the public.
  • In 2014 the Pebble Beach was the 7th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 73.385 average.   In 2015 with perfect weather and no wind, Pebble was the 45th hardest course with a 70.241 average so three shots easier than the year before.  Last year the course played to a 72.498 average ranking it the 16th hardest on tour.
  • 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 happened 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 the cost of $3 million, the new hole could be one of the most expensive holes that hold a PGA Tour event.  It’s 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 Peninsula, including seven miles of Pacific oceanfront for $1.3 million in 1915.  Morse then formed the Del Monte Properties 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 although 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.
  • 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 the same, except for the redesign of the fifth hole, which is surely 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 that make 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.
  • In 2019 the U.S. Open will be played back at Pebble so right now the course is being prepped.  In 2015 the 17th green was modified and rebuilt, over the summer the 14th green went through serious change.  The green won’t have the drastic elevation change in the front, back right.  The bunker is still deep and tough but the green will be a bit easier.  After play finishes the 13th hole will have some changes and be ready by the summer.

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 from the championship tees.  The course is resort and open to the public.
  • In 2014 the Spyglass Hill was the 11th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 72.755 average.  For the first time since 2010, Spyglass played under par in 2015 to a scoring average of 71.199, the 33rd hardest course on tour. Again easier because of the great weather. Last year it was over par again as the course played to an average 72.506 average, 15th hardest.
  • The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1966.  The course was the built thanks to Samuel Morse who had originally 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 partly because of 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 that 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 softened with time, and now there is nothing but praise about the course.

 

  • Monterey Peninsula C.C. Shore Course
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 6,867 yards     Par 34-37–71
  • Course has a 73.3 rating and slope rating of 133 from the championship tees.  The course is private.
  • In 2014 the Shore Course was the 22nd hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 71.252 average.  But in 2015, again in perfect weather the course played to a 68.936 scoring average as only two other courses in 2015 played easier.  Last year the course got tough again and played to a 70.699 average making it the 25th toughest on tour.
  • 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.
  • 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 71 and at 6,867.
  • 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 much 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.
  • One thing that will make all three courses a bit tougher is the weather, the Pebble Beach area has had over 14 inches of rain since October 1st so the rough will be higher and thicker this year.  Also the courses won’t have the same run as they had in 2015, yes the weather has been terrible in the last month with over 8 inches of rain as the California drought has ended in the Monterey area.

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 that is tree lined on the last 12 holes and may not get the brute of a heavy wind that some player’s 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.

This year is really going to be a test of patience for the players, in looking at the forecast it’s been raining most of the day on Monday, and Tuesday is suppose to be a complete washout with 100% chance of rain.  Wednesday is better, only a 20% chance of rain but another storm rolls in on Wednesday night which will bring 100% chance of rain on Thursday and Friday.  In looking at radar maps the rain goes halfway across the Pacific to Japan and it’s heading toward Northern California.  The only ray of good news is the weekend and Monday is suppose to be dry.

So the bottom line is we have to take into account players that are good in terrible weather as this changes the whole makeup of the tournament.

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

  • Unimportant stat:  With the exception of Brett Ogle in 1993 and Dustin Johnson in 2009 those that have won at Pebble were veteran players.  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.  Last year 39 year-old Vaughn Taylor surprised everyone by taking the title, despite not having a PGA Tour card.
  • Now this doesn’t rule out the fact that a rookie or a person with very little experience 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 comedian Bill Murray as his partner helped him and without Murray, Points probably would have 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 the weather reducing the event to 54 holes, it’s always easy to win a tournament that you lead after 54 holes.
  • The best-kept secret of this event between 1981 and 2005 none of the first round leaders went on to win.  But, Phil Mickelson started a trend in 2005 that 5 of the last 10 winners, Mickelson twice, Johnson twice, and Points in 2011 were in the lead after the first day.  In 2015 Brandt Snedeker led after the first and second rounds, then was T-2nd in the third round.  Last year it was back to normal as Taylor was way back after the first and second rounds and six back of the 54 hole leader  I think with the weather being terrible you won’t see one of the early round leaders win this.
  • One streak that will stay intact is that in the previous 57 years of the CareerBuilder Classic, nobody has ever won both the AT&T and the CareerBuilder in the same year.  Won’t happen this year as the Careerbuilder winner Hudson Swafford isn’t in the field for the AT&T.
  • 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.  Pro’s play Pebble twice, which has the smallest greens on the PGA Tour.  Because of that and the greens at Pebble don’t have much undulation, putting becomes important in winning.  In making putts between 4 and 8 feet it has ranked one of the easiest course on tour 4 of the last eight years, last year it ranked 3rd.  In putts inside 10 feet, Pebble was 4th last yar, 15th in 2015, but first in 2014.   In putts inside of 25 feet it was 9th last year after being 22nd in 2015, first in 2014 and 3rd in 2013.
  • 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.  A perfect example was in 2005 with Phil Mickelson, he opened up with a 62 at Spyglass, shattering it’s scoring record and could build upon that great round.
  • Now Spyglass is not the only secert, but also playing well on Monterey Peninsula is important.  All three of these courses usually play to a total field average of par, since 2005 Spyglass has been over par 10 of the last 11 years.
  • What we did in the chart below was take the field average for that course and subtracted the winners score to figure out how many shots are picked up on the field and come up with a total shots gained on the field for these two rounds.  The findings are remarkable across the board for the 12 winners.

Winner                               Shots won by         Spyglass*                   Monterey Peninsula*        Gain on Field

2016-Vaughn Taylor                     1               68 (72.506) +4.506              67 (70.699) +3.699                8.2 shots

2015-Brandt Snedeker                 3               67 (71.199) +4.199             64 (68.936) +4.936               8.5 shots

2014-Jimmy Walker                     1                69 (72.755) +3.755             67 (71.252) +4.252               8.0 shots

2013-Brandt Snedeker                2                68 (72.641) +4.641             66 (70.244) +4.244               8.9 shots

2012-Phil Mickelson                    2                70 (72.581) +2.581             65 (69.883) +4.883               7.5 shots

2011-D.A. Points                         2                70 (72.426) +2.426              63 (69.840) +6.840               9.3 shots

2010-Dustin Johnson                  1                64 (71.603) +7.603             64 (68.948) +4.948              12.5 shots

Winner                                                               Spyglass*                         Poppy Hills*

2009-Dustin Johnson                 4                69 (72.644) +3.644             67 (71.928) +4.928              8.6 shots

2008-Steve Lowery        won in playoff       69 (73.206) +4.206             70 (72.828) +2.828              7.0 shots

2007-Phil Mickelson                  5                70 (72.855) +2.855             65 (72.089) +7.089              9.9 shots

2006-Arron Oberholser              5               68 (72.006) +4.006              65 (72.302) +7.302           11.3 shots

2005-Phil Mickelson                  4           62 (72.134) +10.134              67 (71.915) +4.915              15.5 shots

*Field average on that course in parentheses, then shots gain on field for that course

 

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

Best Bets:

Dustin Johnson

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T41 T4 T2 CUT T5 T55 Win Win T7

Can’t think of a better person to have in bad weather, he proved that in his 2009 win.

Brandt Snedeker

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T35 Win CUT Win CUT T21 CUT T58 T36

Showed a lot in winning at San Diego last year in terrible weather, his game is also coming together right now.

Justin Rose

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T6

Another of these guys that are able to get around on poor weather days.

Best of the rest:

Webb Simpson

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T26 T46 CUT

Thinking that his good play in Phoenix will spring board him to playing good this week.

Jordan Spieth

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T21 T7 T4 T22

Need someone with a lot of patience and being able to make a lot of putts. Spieth has played well in this event with two top-7 finishes.

Jason Day

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T11 T4 T64 6 T46 T14 6

He would be my first choice if it was dry, just have to hope that he gets some great breaks in the pairings and makes the best of it.

Phil Mickelson

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
2 T19 T60 Win T9 T8 T55 CUT Win T38 Win

Guy has improved in each of his first three starts, he loves this event and always finds a way to play well in it.

Solid contenders

Jim Furyk

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T7 T35 T30 T40 CUT T35 T33 T14 T6 T27 T39

Remember the formula for winning this event is lot’s of experience which Furyk has, wouldn’t surprise me to see him playing well.

Patrick Reed

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T6 T29 T13 T7

Has been knocking on the door to win this event in all four of his previous starts.

Jon Rahm

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Does he dare have any chance of winning this since he is playing for the first time.

Matt Kuchar

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
WD T14 T34 T6 CUT T43

Showed some spark early in Phoenix, hasn’t played in this event in six years so he may be ready to doing well.

J.B. Holmes

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T11 T10 T61 T50 CUT T13 T2 T55 T61 T16

Guy has some good rounds in this event, has played well this year.

Long shots that could come through:

J.J. Spaun

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Has been on a roll of late, only question can’t see a guy that has never played in this event winning, but there is always a first time for everything.

Roberto Castro

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T8 CUT T19 CUT T50

Showed what he could do in this event last year by finishing T-8th.

Martin Laird

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T69 CUT CUT

He has a lot of experience and fits the same mold as Vaughn Taylor victory last year.

Comments

  1. RAYMOND C says:

    New to this site so forgive me is there is a simple answer…since it seems a great score at spyglass is advantageous, is there somewhere I can go to see like 5 year history of players that scored well at spyglass and Monterey Penn. Thanks

  2. Raymond,
    We have talked about doing a database that has that, but it’s too hard to maintain and the bottom line is that people wouldn’t use it.
    What I can suggest if you are looking for things like this, go to the official AT&T Pebble Beach site at this address
    http://www.attpbgolf.com/media/
    and download the entire media guide history. It’s not going to be exactly what you wanted, but it will give you answers and a way to find key scores from each course.

  3. Patrick D says:

    Sal do you know what is going on with Jimmy Walker? He usually plays his best this time of year but has 2 missed cuts in a row. I read he had a stomach bug in Hawaii but can’t seem to find much else.

  4. I also include Bubba Watson on this list of guys that have mysteriously lost their games and players I wouldn’t take at all right now.
    I think both of them have the same disease and that is they are both making a boatload of money and are enjoying it with their families. I see Bubba more in articles about owning a minor league baseball team and having fun doing this than getting ready to play in the Phoenix Open, maybe that is the reason he missed the cut in a tournament that he has contended in the last few years in. The same with Walker, this slide really started at the beginning of 2016, he always was a favorite in the first 15 events of the year, but last year fell flat on his butt. The record doesn’t lie, yes he was making cuts but only had two top-tens (Farmers & WGC Cadillac) before wiping out peoples thoughts on him by winning the PGA Championship.
    Good play like both have experienced in the last five years has really big financial awards but at the same time they need to work twice as hard on their games as before, something that both Walker and Watson aren’t doing.
    Hey if it was you and I we would probably do the same, both are millionaires and well taken care of for the rest of their lives.

  5. Bubba also switched from Titleist to Volvik balls at the start of 2017 and noted spin rate differences in a recent Golf Digest article. It definitely seems like he could still be adjusting to the equipment change as well.

    Sal, thoughts on Shane Lowry or Sean O’Hair this week? Both definitely seem under-priced given their recent form and course history.

  6. Jordan,
    I wondered about Bubba’s switch of balls and the wisdom of it. These guys are so good that a simple change could be the difference from missing the cut and finishing in the top-ten. In Bubba’s case I still think a lot of his poor play is due to not having the “eye of the Tiger” anymore and really enjoying his life.
    As for Lowry and O’Hair these are players that have very average games under PGA Tour standards. They both make a lot of cuts and make a lot of money, but a top-ten in rare, they both average one top-ten for every 100 starts. As for winning, both have to be in the right place at the right time to win. As of this minute, Lowry is making a lot of cuts (8 in a row) but for that effort his best finish was last week, T-16th at Phoenix.
    As for O’Hair, he has shown some good progress over the last couple of months and has been in the top-11 in three of four of those starts. So he is playing good enough that if the price is low take him.
    I am in the progress of writing a piece on who is the best bargins for DraftKings. I am going to find the guys that make the most cuts and average costing less than $7,500. Should be up by tonight.

  7. As you are rubbing elbows with the PGA big wigs this weekend could you do me a favor and ask them to please ban the practice of yelling “get in the hole” ?
    It’s literally killing the sport.

  8. Sorry to see that I am roughing out the AT&T from my home in Northern Virginia. It was 72 today and it’s suppose to snow tomorrow morning and be a high of 15 on Friday.

  9. Lol at James. I totally agree.

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