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BlogAT&T Pebble Beach Preview and Picks

AT&T Pebble Beach

February 8th – 11th, 2018

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach, CA

Par: 72 / Yardage: 6,816

Purse: $7.4 million

with $1,320,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Jordan Spieth

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 32 of the top 100 and 18 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with five players #1 Dustin Johnson, #2 Jon Rahm, #3 Jordan Spieth, #8 Rory McIlroy and #10 Jason Day from the top-ten. The other top 50 players are #17 Paul Casey, #18 Matt Kuchar, #19 Pat Perez, #21 Rafael Cabrera Bello, #23 Charley Hoffman, #24 Patrick Reed, #26 Gary Woodland, #28 Branden Grace, #31 Kevin Kisner, #34 Kevin Chappell, #38 Patrick Cantlay, #41 Phil Mickelson and #43 Adam Scott.

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

The field includes 11 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2018.  Those players are #4 Pat Perez, #5 Gary Woodland, #6 Austin Cook, #7 Dustin Johnson, #10 Jason Day, #12 Patrick Cantlay #13 Chez Reavie, #14 Chesson Hadley, #22 James Hahn , #23 Ryan Armour and #25 Tom Hoge.

The field includes 9 past champions: Jordan Spieth (2017), Vaughn Taylor (2016), Brandt Snedeker (2015 & ’13), Jimmy Walker (2014), Phil Mickelson (2012, ’07, ’05 & 1998), D.A. Points (2011), Dustin Johnson (2010 & ’09), Vijay Singh (2004) and Peter Jacobsen (1995).

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

Player Phoenix Open Farmers Insurance Dubai CareerBuilder Challenge Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry T of C Hong Kong Australian PGA RSM Classic DP World Dubai Mayakoba
Jon Rahm
(324.67 pts)
T11
(39)
T29
(21)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(66)
DNP
Gary Woodland
(212 pts)
Win
(132)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T34
(5.33)
Rory McIlroy
(190 pts)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chez Reavie
(147.33 pts)
2
(100)
DNP DNP T36
(14)
DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
Austin Cook
(139.33 pts)
T31
(19)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP T18
(21.33)
T22
(18.67)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP T50
(0.33)
Dustin Johnson
(133 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Day
(132 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
James Hahn
(124.67 pts)
T11
(39)
T45
(5)
DNP T36
(14)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Chesson Hadley
(107.67 pts)
T5
(70)
T23
(27)
DNP T42
(8)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
Brandon Harkins
(103.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T12
(38)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP T49
(0.33)
DNP T25
(8.33)
Chris Kirk
(97.33 pts)
T11
(39)
T35
(15)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP
Martin Piller
(96.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T4
(26.67)
Tom Hoge
(96.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T12
(38)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP 3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP T61
(0)
Matt Kuchar
(95 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP T32
(18)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T29
(7)
DNP DNP
Kevin Chappell
(95 pts)
T31
(19)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP 21
(19.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brian Gay
(91.33 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP T42
(8)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
DNP T25
(8.33)
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(84.5 pts)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP T40
(10)
DNP DNP T60
(0)
DNP DNP T21
(14.5)
DNP
Pat Perez
(79.67 pts)
DNP DNP T29
(21)
DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T34
(5.33)
Bryson DeChambeau
(78 pts)
T5
(70)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 26
(16)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
Russell Knox
(78 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T29
(21)
DNP T29
(21)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP T9
(15)
Beau Hossler
(76.67 pts)
T17
(33)
T35
(15)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T70
(0)
DNP T34
(5.33)
Kevin Streelman
(73 pts)
T40
(10)
T29
(21)
DNP T29
(21)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
DNP T20
(10)
J.B. Holmes
(70 pts)
CUT
(-10)
4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Kokrak
(69.33 pts)
T31
(19)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
DNP T47
(2)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T45
(1.67)
Brian Stuard
(67.67 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP T22
(9.33)
DNP T9
(15)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the AT&T Pebble Beach

Player Phoenix Open Farmers Insurance Dubai CareerBuilder Challenge Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry T of C Hong Kong Australian PGA RSM Classic DP World Dubai Mayakoba
Mac Hughes
(-43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Peter Malnati
(-43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Sangmoon Bae
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Kyle Thompson
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Matt Atkins
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Steve Wheatcroft
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Andrew Yun
(-33.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Marty Dou Zecheng
(-31.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
Ethan Tracy
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T55
(0)
Troy Merritt
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The PGA Tour season is just about a quarter of the way over,  13 events played, 36 left to play, we are seeing a different list of winners than last year in which 2 players won multiple times (Thomas won 3 times, Matsuyama twice).  This year we have had 12 different winners with Patton Kizzire, the only multiple winners.  Now one big change from the first 12 winners, 8 of them was in their 20s, but in 2018 there have only been four (Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Austin Cook and Jon Rahm) in their 20s.  Last year there were three first time winners, this year four.  But the question will be if the trend to under 30 players winning will continue.

Another oddity, the tour has had playoffs in the last four events.  The last time there were four straight playoffs was in 2011 between the Heritage and Players Championship.  Going back to 1970 there have never been five straight so we could have a new mark done this week.

Injury report:

The significant injury was Hideki Matsuyama, whose left thumb started to bother him in the first round.   The pain was so severe he decided to withdraw on Friday.  We got information on Friday that Matsuyama was hitting balls on the range with a wrap around his wrist.  Seems that in Thursday’s first round, he hurt it on the 13th hole and iced it down that night.  Matsuyama has a trainer that travels with him and they tried several things on Thursday night and Friday morning, but nothing worked.  Since turning pro in 2013 there have been numerous times in which a nagging wrist has caused him grief, the last time that it bothered him was before he withdrew from the 2016 Honda.  The big difference, in the past the pain would be isolated to the wrist but this time the pain was harsh with pains going up his arm.  After withdrawing, Hideki told Japanese media that travels with him that he was concerned so much that he plans on traveling to Japan and visit his doctors.  He wasn’t going to play at the AT&T, but was planning on playing the Genesis and the WGC-Mexico Championship, both of these are now up in the air.

What we learned from last week:

The good play of both Gary Woodland and Chez Reavie are no flunk.  For Woodland who hasn’t won since 2013 he had been knocking on the door with two runner-up finishes last year, the last at the Honda Classic.  Woodland has always been good from tee to green, but his weakness has always been around the greens and with the putter.  Over the last six years he hasn’t been better than 85th in Strokes gained putting, but this year he is 8th.  The week before in San Diego he was in contention on Sunday, but dropped into a T-12th with a final round 75.  But things were totally different on Sunday as he shot 30 on the front and was able to birdie 15, 16 and 17 to shot 34 for a 64.  Over the weekend he made 110 feet of putts on Saturday which ranked 4th and 89 feet on Sunday to rank 19th.  But the biggest aspect of Woodland’s game is that he is consistent week in and week out.  Since missing the cut at last year’s Masters, he has only missed the cut once, at the Northern Trust.  The fact that he has been finding himself in contention in his last three starts means that he just needed that one break, which he got with a 64 on Sunday.  I can see that he will continue the good play and may find himself in this position again in the coming weeks.

Now for Reavie he too has played great since missing the cut at last year’s AT&T Bryon Nelson.  He also has given himself lots of chances for success.  The best part of his game was with the driver, and he was in the upper 20% in greens hit.  In past years he was known as one of the worst players in scrambling and around the greens, he also struggled with his putter until last year when he finished 30th in strokes gained putting.  At Phoenix, he was 1st in strokes gained tee-to-green and in scrambling, he had one of his better weeks finishing T-4th.  It also helped that in the 67 putts he had at ten feet and better, he made 64 of them.  It also helped him making 3 eagles for the week.  But his game has been so solid that you have to feel that sometime this year he will return to the winner circle for the first time since he won the 2008 Canadian Open.

Rickie flounders again on Sunday.  We have talked about this before, that Rickie Fowler finds a way to play great through 3 rounds and then dies on the vine on Sunday.  He did it again this week leading going into the final round just to shot 73 on Sunday.  Wish I could put my finger on the problem, but it seems that Fowler has difficulties from tee to green on Sundays and just seems to start off slowly and then tries to force the issue.  He did that in Phoenix, on the front nine he hit only 2 of 7 fairways and 4 of 9 greens.  So with a pair of birdies and a bogey, he went off to the back nine again trying to force the issue.  When he par his first five holes things just didn’t happen and he finished making bogeys at 15, 16 and 17.  We talk about this all the time about Fowler, and we have no solutions.  He is young and has been one of the best players for quite a while, but we just shake our heads that Fowler seems to continue to flounder on Sunday.

Could Matt Kuchar be a guy that you take week in, week out?  I am now making a resolution, and that is to look at Matt Kuchar more in the future.  This week his price on DraftKings was $8,400, and for the price, he gave a lot of offense making 22 birdies and only 8 bogeys.  But the fact of Kuchar is that since finishing T-4th at the Masters he has played in 23 events and his worst finish is 80th at the Players Championship.  In the other 22 events he was in the top-25, 15 times and in the top-10, 11 times.  So there is nothing fancy about his game other than the fact that he makes cuts, makes lots of birdies and frankly can be that one solid pick week in and week out.  Yes, he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since the 2014 Heritage, but if you can get him under $8,500, he is someone that you should automatically make him one of your six picks.

Justin Thomas had a great year and frankly since winning in Korea in October, hasn’t had that bad of a year.  But when your use to winning all the time, it’s hard to keep it up.  We talked about the sophomore slump, hey Tiger Woods experienced it in 1998, Jordan Spieth experienced it in 2016.  We have seen a more human Justin Thomas finishing 11th at the Hero, T-22nd at the Sentry T of C, T-14th at the Sony Open and T-17th in Phoenix.  Thomas played six great nines, had an ok one and then a real stinker when he shot 41 on the back-nine on Saturday.  Frankly I can see the reason why.  First he is a very streaky type of player that is great when he gets in that groove, he hasn’t been in that groove since winning in Korea.  In looking at his stats for 2018 two things stick out, first his putting is way off and his scrambling stats are way off.  This makes sense on why he hasn’t had any top-tens since Korea.  So with Thomas going for over $10,000 he is a no-go for Draft Kings.  All of this won’t last long but just look at his season last year, between winning the Sony Open in Hawaii and the Memorial he played good once, finishing T-5th at the WGC-Mexico Championship.  I can see this continuing so when he plays next at the Genesis, it’s probably best to take a pass on him.

Another struggling and you should think twice about picking him this week is Jon Rahm.  Last year he finished T-5th at Pebble, but I can see him again outside the top-ten.  So with him at $11,400 that is a tall order, yes Rahm is good, but at this price, you are hoping for an excellent finish.

Last but not least Phil Mickelson.  He played well in Phoenix, over his last 42 holes he was 12 under par and that included a double bogey at the 72nd hole.  Glad to see him playing better, but with him priced at $9,600 I am sorry to say he isn’t going to be one of my choices this week.  Mickelson is fun to watch and had his most consistent week since the Safeway Open in October, but let’s look into the crystal ball, can he win?  The AT&T will be his 100th start since his last win at the 2013 British Open, and frankly, I just don’t see it happening.  Phil is still good on and around the greens, but his tee to green game is not improving.  He is 207th in Greens hit, and 213th in fairways hit, and you could tell that missing fairways was his biggest problem in Phoenix.  When you rank like that and 147th in proximity to the hole you just aren’t going to win many tournaments so I can see the reason he just is not a top player anymore.

 

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 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 used 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 Carson Daly, Huey Lewis, Chris O’Donnell, Ray Romano and Darius Rucker. From the world of football Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Steve Young will play along with Baseball great Justin Verlander and Hockey great Wayne Gretzky who will play with his daughter’s 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 most celebrated 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.

  • Course information:
  • Pebble Beach Golf Links
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 6,816 yards     Par 36-36–72

The course has a 74.4 rating and slope rating of 142 from the championship tees Pebble Beach Golf Links is a 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 are easier than the year before.  In 2016 the course played to a 72.498 average ranking it the 16th hardest on tour.  Last year in good weather the course played to a 71.90 average ranking it the 25th hardest course on tour.

The course was 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 with 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 the official name, the course is not a real 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 produced 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 undoubtedly 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  like 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 into play on nine holes along the Pacific.

Now in 1919, 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 a severe 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

The course has a 75.3 rating and slope rating of 148 from the championship tees.  The course resorts 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 more comfortable because of the great weather. In 2016 it was over par again as the course played to a 72.506 average, 15th hardest.  Last year it played to a 72.203 average making it the 20th hardest course on Tour.

The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1966.  The course was the built thanks to Samuel Morse who had initially thought of creating 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 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 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

The 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.  In 2016 the course got tough again and played to a 70.699 average making it the 25th toughest on tour.  Last year the par 71 course had a 71.26 average earning it the 19th hardest course 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 initially 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 started 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 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 easier is the weather, the Pebble Beach area has had hardly any rain since October 1st so the rough will not be as high and thick as past years.  Also, the courses will play dry and fast with the lack of rain in the Monterey area.  So look for it to play as it does in June the years the U.S. Open goes to Pebble.

 

Of the 156 in the field, 122 have played at least once in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am.  Here are the players with the most under par totals at the AT&T since 2010:

  • Dustin Johnson is 68 under in 31 rounds playing 8 years
  • Jimmy Walker is 62 under in 31 rounds playing 8 years
  • Brandt Snedeker is 58 under in 26 rounds playing 7 years
  • Jordan Spieth is 58 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Jason Day is 55 under in 23 rounds playing 6 years
  • Phil Mickelson is 55 under in 28 rounds playing 7 years
  • Patrick Reed is 46 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Matt Jones is 44 under in 31 rounds playing 8 years
  • Hunter Mahan is 41 under in 30 rounds playing 8 years
  • J.B. Holmes is 39 under in 31 rounds playing 8 years
  • Nick Watney is 37 under in 26 rounds playing 7 years
  • Sean O’Hair is 35 under in 31 rounds playing 8 years
  • Kevin Streelman is 34 under in 27 rounds playing 7 years
  • Aaron Baddeley is 34 under in 27 rounds playing 7 years
  • Pat Perez is 29 under in 31 rounds playing 8 years

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)

  • Jordan Spieth is 58 under playing 5 years (-2.90)
  • Jason Day is 55 under playing 6 years (-2.39)
  • Patrick Reed is 46 under playing 5 years (-2.30)
  • Brandt Snedeker is 58 under playing 7 years (-2.23)
  • Dustin Johnson is 68 under playing 8 years (-2.19)
  • Jimmy Walker is 62 under playing 8 years (-2)
  • Phil Mickelson is 55 under playing 7 years (-1.96)
  • Gary Woodland is 13 under playing 2 years (-1.86)
  • Shane Lowry is 22 under playing 3 years (-1.83)
  • Luke Donald is 21 under playing 3 years (-1.75)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies:

 

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

*Here are the guys that are very costly:

  • Dustin Johnson – $11,700
  • John Rahm – $11,400
  • Rory McIlroy – $11,100
  • Jason Day – $10,900
  • Jordan Spieth – $10,700
  • Gary Woodland – $9,900
  • Phil Mickelson – $9,600
  • Paul Casey – $9,400
  • Brendan Grace – $9,100
  • Patrick Cantlay – $8,900

So of these players, like Johnson at $11,700, McIlroy at $11,100 and Casey at $8,400.  As for Rahm, just think he isn’t at his best right now.  As for Spieth, not worried about him missing the cut last week, just feel that he isn’t in the position to win.  Jason Day won at the Farmers and always plays well at Pebble, $10,900 is a high price but think he is ok for this week. Woodland is playing good, but remember he, Mickelson Grace are over-valued.  Cantlay is ok, but I wouldn’t take him

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,800 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

As I said earlier, really like Matt Kuchar at $8,800.  You know he will make the cut and also make a lot of birdies.  Am not a big fan of Adam Scott, who is making his first start of the year, and I feel $8,700 is way too much.  Pat Perez will play well, he is a bit high at $8,600 but thinks he is worth the cost.  Have no idea on why Chesson Hadley is valued at $8,500, or James Hahn at $8,400, and Beau Hossler is valued at $8,300.  The reason I say that you have Brandt Snedeker at $8,100, Chez Reavie at $8,000 and Patrick Reed at $7,900.  I think Reed is too good to pass up on; he plays well at AT&T, has good production numbers and is a great buy.  Same with Snedeker, again his price is good because like Reed has not done well this year but he can bounce back this week.  Now Kevin Chappell at $7,900 is a good price; he is probably low because his record at Pebble isn’t that great, but has played well of late.

What are the “Bargains” out there?

Matt Jones seems like a good buy at $6,800.  His record and production value at Pebble is good, but he has struggled of late.  Still this is a good place for him to bounce back.  Aaron Baddeley at $7,400 is also good.  His year hasn’t been that great but his Pebble record is good.  Probably because the greens are small and he putts so well.  Normally I would pick Charley Hoffman at $7,300.  His record has been terrible in this event and think he would be a waste this week.  The best value at $7,400 is probably J.B. Holmes.  His record is good at Pebble, yes he missed the cut in Phoenix, but believe he will bounce back.  Another good value is Chris Kirk at $7,100.  He has above average numbers at Pebble and has been playing well of late.  Another person to take a gamble on is Graeme McDowell at $6,600, yes he hasn’t been setting it on fire but his record is great at Pebble and you take him just because he plays well on this course. Last I like Sam Saunders at $7,000.  He has struggled of late at Pebble, but his numbers in his last two starts have been solid so it’s worth the risk to take him.

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 particular breed of player to endure this.
  • This year is going to be a different test of than in past years.  Perfect weather is on tap, with not only no rain which is a rarity to go a whole week without but good temperatures with it being in the mid-60s each day.  Wind will be below 10 mph each day, so the bottom line look for great scores, gosh at Pebble Beach the course record of 62 could fall this week and with a par of 71 someone could shot in the 50s at Monterey Peninsula.

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

  • Unimportant stat: Except for 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 its history going back to 1950 only one pro has won on his first visit to Pebble, and that was Ogle.  Last year 23-year-old Jordan Spieth won which was not a big surprise to anyone.
  • Now, this doesn’t rule out the fact that a rookie or a person with minimal 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.  In 2016 Vaughn Taylor saved his career with a victory which did surprise many.  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.  In 2016 it was back to normal as Taylor was way back after the first and second rounds and six back of the 54 hole leader, But last year Jordan Spieth lead after every round, the first player to have the outright lead after every round since Mickelson did it in 2015.
  • One streak that is on the line and looking to stay intact is that in the previous 58 years of the CareerBuilder Classic, nobody has ever won both the AT&T and the CareerBuilder in the same year.  Jon Rahm will be looking to break the streak this 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 can 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 to 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 many undulations, putting becomes vital in winning.  In making putts between 4 and 8 feet it has ranked one of the easiest course on tour 4 of the last nine years, Last year it ranked 2nd while in 2016 it ranked 3rd.  In putts inside 10 feet, Pebble was 4th last year and in 2016, 15th in 2015, but first in 2014.   In putts outside of 25 feet it was 31st last year and 9th in 2016 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 secret, but also playing well on Monterey Peninsula is essential.  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 shot 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
2017-Jordan Spieth                  4           65 (72.203) +7.203     68 (71.260) +3.260          10.5 shots
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

Best Bets:

Dustin Johnson

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
3 T41 T4 T2 CUT T5 T55 Win Win T7

Loves this event, has won it twice and finished in the top-ten in seven of his ten starts. Is 43 under in his last four starts.

Jason Day

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T5 T11 T4 T64 6 T46 T14 6

After winning in San Diego, he is prime and ready to make it two in a row. He too plays well in this event, is 60 under in his last five starts.

Gary Woodland

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T5 CUT CUT

On a roll after winning in Phoenix, played well last year.

Best of the rest:

Rory McIlroy

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
First time playing in this event

Playing in this event for the first time, even though he missed the cut when he played in the U.S. Open at Pebble, think he will overcome all of that to play well.

Jon Rahm

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T5

On paper he should play well, was T-5th last year.

Brandt Snedeker

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
                    4             T35          Win            Cut          Win                          Cut           T21          Cut          T58            T36

A two times winner, he finished 4th last year and is 53 under in his last five starts in the AT&T.

Jordan Spieth

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
Win T21 T7 T4 T22

The defending champion, yes he has a big advantage with the putter and that could play out again this year.

Paul Casey

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
First time playing in this event

Always a threat, but at the same time he seems to be able to play well and pick up big checks but can’t find a way of winning.

Solid contenders

Patrick Reed

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T23 T6 T29 T13 T7

Has always played well at Pebble, you may not realize it but in his last five starts is 48 under and shows that he can do well.

Phil Mickelson

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
65 2 T19 T60 Win T9 T8 T55 CUT Win T38

Game has steadily improved and coming to a place he has had some good luck on.

J.B. Holmes

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T23 T11 T10 T61 T50 CUT T13 T2 T55 T61 T16

Playing well, yes he missed the cut in Phoenix, but he is still playing solidly.

Matt Kuchar

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
CUT WD T14 T34 T6 CUT

Record in this event is not strong, but his game has shown that he can play well week in and week out.

Patrick Cantlay

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T48 T9

Guy has the talent to do well this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Sam Saunders

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
CUT CUT CUT T50 T69 T15 T70

Played well at the CareerBuilder, sets him up for a good week.

Graeme McDowell

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T7 CUT

Just remember he won the U.S. Open at Pebble in 2010 and he can bounce back at any time.

Aaron Baddeley

2018 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06
T51 T54 T56 T12 4 T6 CUT T19

His great putting is perfect for all three of the courses in this event.

Comments

  1. Sneds finishes missing above. Says its his first time playing in the event.
    Thanks for all your weekly efforts, details and information.

  2. Chad S sorry and to everyone else on the Sneds mistake. It’s fixed, a hard one to fix.

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