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BlogAT&T Pebble Beach Preview and Picks

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

February 6th – 9th, 2020

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach, CA

Par: 72 / Yardage: 6,816

Purse: $7.8 million

with $1,404,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Phil Mickelson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 27 of the top 100 and 12 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with two players #5 Dustin Johnson and #8 Patrick Cantlay from the top-ten. The other top 50 players are #20 Paul Casey, #20 Matt Kuchar, #25 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #28 Kevin Na, #32 Kevin Kisner, #41 Chez Reavie, #43 Brandt Snedeker, #43 Rafa Cabrera Bello, #46 Jason Day and #47 Graeme McDowell.

Last year there were 18 top-50 players in the field.

The field includes 7 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2020.  Those players are #5 Lanto Griffin, #10 Cameron Champ, #13 Kevin Na, #15 Tom Hoge, #16 Tyler Duncan, #19 Andrew Landry and #25 Adam Long.

The field includes 8 past champions:  Phil Mickelson (2019, ’12, ’07, ’05 & 1998), Ted Potter, Jr. (2018), Jordan Spieth (2017), Vaughn Taylor (2016), Brandt Snedeker (2015 & ’13), Jimmy Walker (2014), D.A. Points (2011) and Dustin Johnson (2010 & ’09).

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 the 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 Pro-Am

Player WM Phoenix Open Saudi Intern. Farmers Insurance Dubai Desert Classic American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry TofC Australian PGA DP World Dubai RSM Classic Mayakoba Classic WGC HSBC Champions
Graeme McDowell
(202.33 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
T23
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP
Tom Hoge
(173.67 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP 5
(70)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(145.83 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(5)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP 9
(22.5)
DNP DNP 7
(18.33)
Dustin Johnson
(136.67 pts)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Andrew Landry
(123.67 pts)
T45
(5)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Max Homa
(123.67 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T48
(2)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nate Lashley
(105.67 pts)
T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-5)
DNP T53
(0)
T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brandt Snedeker
(105.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Russell Knox
(103.67 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP T37
(13)
DNP T32
(12)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
T33
(5.67)
DNP
Cameron Champ
(100.33 pts)
DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP T14
(24)
T27
(7.67)
DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP
Cameron Davis
(91.67 pts)
DNP DNP T36
(14)
DNP T29
(21)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP T3
(30)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Adam Long
(89.67 pts)
8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T23
(18)
DNP DNP T35
(5)
T2
(33.33)
DNP
Kurt Kitayama
(84.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP 48
(1)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
Patrick Rodgers
(83.67 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T58
(0)
DNP
J.B. Holmes
(81.33 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 30
(13.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Branden Grace
(78 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matthew NeSmith
(77.67 pts)
DNP DNP T30
(20)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP T32
(12)
DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
T48
(0.67)
DNP
Phil Mickelson
(77.33 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
Sebastian Cappelen
(75.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T66
(0)
DNP
Daniel Berger
(74 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T29
(21)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Scott Piercy
(71.33 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T26
(8)
DNP
Kevin Kisner
(71.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(53.33)
T14
(24)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T76
(0)
T28
(7.33)
Harry Higgs
(70.67 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T35
(5)
T33
(5.67)
DNP
Paul Casey
(69.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP T18
(16)
DNP DNP T38
(4)
Patrick Cantlay
(69.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T34
(16)
DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Vaughn Taylor
(69 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T43
(7)
DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
T2
(33.33)
DNP
Alex Noren
(61.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP T32
(12)
DNP DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(60 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T14
(24)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T14
(12)
DNP
Maverick McNealy
(56 pts)
DNP DNP 15
(35)
DNP T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T53
(0)
T26
(8)
DNP
Chase Seiffert
(49 pts)
DNP DNP T71
(0)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
T41
(3)
DNP
Tyler Duncan
(48.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
T48
(0.67)
DNP
Henrik Norlander
(46.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T68
(0)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
T41
(3)
DNP
Mark Hubbard
(45.33 pts)
T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T43
(7)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T53
(0)
T58
(0)
DNP
Charley Hoffman
(45 pts)
T40
(10)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Sung Kang
(44 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

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

Player WM Phoenix Open Saudi Intern. Farmers Insurance Dubai Desert Classic American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry TofC Australian PGA DP World Dubai RSM Classic Mayakoba Classic WGC HSBC Champions
Mackenzie Hughes
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kevin Stadler
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kristoffer Ventura
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Austin Cook
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Nelson Ledesma
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Aaron Wise
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Bo Van Pelt
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Harold Varner III
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T58
(0)
DNP
Scott Harrington
(-27.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T43
(2.33)
T72
(0)
DNP
Doug Ghim
(-26.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

The PGA Tour season is just about a quarter of the way over,  16 events played, 33 left to play, we are seeing a different list of winners.  First, there are only 3 first time winners (Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian Munoz, Lanto Griffin, and Tyler Duncan), there are two multiple winners (Justin Thomas & Brendon Todd) and five of the 16 winners are in the top-ten of the World Rankings.  The reason for this, the top players are realizing the importance of playing early and as a perfect example, four of the five west coast swing winners are in the top-35 of the world rankings, again more of the top players are participating early and not waiting for the Florida swing.

What we learned from last week:

No matter what a person has done in the past, it doesn’t mean he can’t overcome it.  Thanks to people like myself, Tony Finau wasn’t a very big pick on fantasy golf pools, I know in my personal pool nobody took him.  In DraftKing’s big $500,000 game Finau was the 23rd most popular pick with 9.07% of the 118,906 players in the paying $9,600 for him.  Over the course of his last four starts in Phoenix Finau had missed the cut and in his 8 rounds only broke par once as he was six-over-par.  Finau said he loves the course and really couldn’t explain why he missed so many cuts in previous years.  He shot 69 in the first round but when he shot 66 in the second round things just clicked for him, the energy that he has always felt on the course was turned into positive energy and that led to a 2nd round 62.  The point in all of this, these guys are the best players in the world and things change from year to year and what happens to them one year doesn’t mean it will happen the next year.  Of course, when a player does terrible four straight years it’s an indicator that things will probably stay the same that the course just doesn’t fit that player’s eye.  But sometimes, especially with a young player like Finau who is just 30 years old they can mature as they get older and things with their swings and game change.  Now three things were drastically different for Finau during Phoenix week.  First, he just moved two weeks previously from Utah into a home just six minutes from TPC Scottsdale, so the course is now in his hometown.  Another item hit Finau hard, the death of Kobe Bryant, Finau lost his mother to a car crash so the loss of Bryant hit him hard.  The third thing was Finau’s coach Boyd Summerhays found something in his swing three weeks ago and Finau worked it out before the first round.  So all three produced a new found confidence which over-rode his previous poor play and help produce his 2nd place finish.  Now the big question for all, will this spill over to next year?  Guess we will have to wait and see were his game is 12 months from now.

How about the weather for the week?

For years the weather for AT&T has had its share of terrible conditions.  Last year was one of those years in which rain played havoc during the early practice rounds and then during Friday rounds, Saturdays rounds and Sunday wet conditions caused delays which made it impossible to complete the round and it had to be finished on Monday.

But the good news, this week looks to be perfect with Sunny skies and low winds, Sunday may be cloudy and the winds could be up a notch over 11 mph but not bad.

Very Surprised at no Woodland this week

Yes don’t go crazy thinking that I made a mistake, Gary Woodland isn’t in the field this week.  I have no idea why, would have thought that if I won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, I would be at the AT&T the next time it’s played.  I haven’t been able to find a reason so we can’t jump down his back because he could have a valid reason for not playing.  Will update this post when I find the answer.

Pebble’s best, Phil and Dustin

At the end of the last millennium, Mark O’Meara had the nickname of Prince of Pebble Beach.  That was thanks to his five wins (1985, ’89, ’90, ’92 & ’97).  Despite all his wins, in 26 starts O’Meara only had three other top-ten finishes, the best was a T-3rd in 1984.  But in the other 18 starts O’Meara wasn’t a factor so even though he won five times, his overall record didn’t show that he dominated this event.

But if you look at both Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, these two have found a way to contend just about every time they started.  For Johnson he has played in 12 AT&T’s, winning twice (2009 & ’10), along with runner-up finishes in 2014 & ’18.  In 12 starts Johnson was in the top-seven for 8 of those starts.  Dustin also played in the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble and led after 54 holes but shot a final round 82 to finish T-8th.  In the U.S. Open in 2019 he didn’t fare well-finishing T-35th but little did we know he was having problems with his knee then  So you can say that Dustin has dominated at Pebble.

At the same time, we can say that Phil Mickelson can be crowned the true “Prince of Pebble Beach”.  In his 23rd start last year he won for the fifth time (1998, 2005, ’07, ’12 & ’19) with a three-shot victory over Paul Casey.  His victory at 48 years makes him the oldest winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am and if my chance is his last at Pebble would top off a great run in this event.  In the 23 starts, he has two runner-ups in 2016 & ’18 and a pair of 3rd place finishes in 2001 and 2004.  Mickelson has also had some history in the U.S. Open at Pebble.  He turned pro just before the U.S. Open in 1992 and shot 68 in his first round as a professional to finish T-3rd.  But he shot 81 in the second round to miss the cut.  Mickelson played at Pebble in the 2000 U.S. Open and finished T-16th, 21 shots back of winner Tiger Woods.  Mickelson fared a lot better in the 2010 U.S. Open finished T-4th, 3 shots back of the winner.  He played again in 2019 but finished T-52nd, 17 shots back of winner Gary Woodland.  The point is, even though both Mickelson and Johnson will be looking forward to this week.

A special look at the U.S. Open

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am and the Farmers Insurance at Torrey both have the distinction of being able to hold two events in the same year.  One of the reasons for that is that both events are played on different courses but more importantly, Pebble Beach will play totally different this week than it played last June when the U.S. Open was held on it.  Mostly because of the time of the year, this week Pebble will be lush as the Monterey Peninsula has received close to 5 inches of rain in January.  The greens this week will be soft and hold shots, something that they didn’t see last June for those that played in the U.S. Open.  One last thing, since 1983 when Tom Kite won the AT&T the next ten winners also won a major championship and since 1983 of the 36 champions, 25 of them have won a major and 11 of them have won a U.S. Open.

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

This and the American Express 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 American Express, which was the Bob Hope used to have a good field of celebrities, but now the only one left in this event.  The good news is that crowd favorite Bill Murray is in the field this year.  Other celebrities joining him are Wayne Gretzky, Huey Lewis, Chris O’Donnell, Toby Keith, Michael Pena, Tony Romo, Ray Romano, Justin Verlander, and Steve Young.

For some, the AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am is the greatest.  Played at one of the most spectacular 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.  In 2018 in good weather, but winds between 10 and 25 mph the course played to a 72.022 average ranking it the T-15th hardest course on tour.  Last year with rain on Friday and Saturday the course played to a 72.13 average ranking it the 12th 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 change 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 oceanfront 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 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 the U.S. Open (1972, ’82, ’92, 2000, 2010 and in 2019), the PGA Championship (1977),  five U.S. Amateurs (1929, ’47, ’61, ’99 & 2018), 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.

In prepping Pebble for the 2019 U.S. Open in 2015 the 17th green was modified and rebuilt, over the summer in 2016 the 14th green went through a severe change.  The green doesn’t have the drastic elevation change in the front, back right.  The bunker is still deep and tough, making the green a bit flatter and having more pin places.  In 2017 the 13th hole saw the green rebuilt to create a hole location on the right side of the green and a bunker was put onto the left of the green.

Now the biggest rumor going around is to possible changes in the future of the 18th hole.  For 100 years this hole has been idyllic, one of the greatest par 5 finishing holes in the world.  Over the years mother nature has played a factor, trying to reclaim some of its fairways and even the green, but the Pebble Beach company has shored up the shoreline, including a big wall near the green and down the fairway to protect it.  But with the long game being the way it is, the hole is easily reached in two, something that never happened till the last decade.  Now behind the green is a building that houses ten rooms of the lodge, having one of those rooms on the course is special.  In back of the building is a home and large area that the rumor goes is being bought or has been bought by the Pebble Beach Company.  Supposedly the building with the rooms would be relocated in the area where the home is and a new 18th green would be built about 40 to 60 yards back and next to the ocean, thus bringing back the luster of the 18th hole.  I hope the rumor is true if so this is years away from happening and hopefully in place for the 2027 U.S. Open which would be played at Pebble.

Other courses used in the rota:
  • Spyglass Hill Golf Course
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 7,035 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.  In 2017 it played to a 72.203 average making it the 20th hardest course on Tour.  In 2018 the course played to a 71.779 average and was the 22nd toughest course.  Last year Spyglass played to a 71.72 average and was T-19th hardest course on tour.

The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1966.  The course was 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 playback 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.

Other courses used in the rota:
  • Monterey Peninsula C.C. Shore Course
  • Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 6,958 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.  In 2017 the par 71 course had a 71.26 average earning it the 19th hardest course on tour.  In 2018 the course had a 70.058 average and was the 38th hardest course on the PGA Tour.  Last year the Shore Course played to a 70.65 average and was the 22nd 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 par 71 and 6,958.

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.

Of the 156 in the field, 124 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 2015:
  • Jason Day is 65 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Jordan Spieth is 54 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Dustin Johnson is 51 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Phil Mickelson is 48 under in 16 rounds playing 4 years
  • Brandt Snedeker is 43 under in 19 rounds playing 5 years
  • Kevin Streelman is 41 under in 19 rounds playing 5 years
  • Scott Stallings is 34 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Vaughn Taylor is 32 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Jimmy Walker is 31 under in 19 rounds playing 5 years
  • Matt Jones is 29 under in 19 rounds playing 5 years
  • Nick Watney is 29 under in 15 rounds playing 4 years
  • Pat Perez is 29 under in 19 rounds playing 5 years
  • Chez Reavie is 28 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Paul Casey is 26 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Jim Furyk is 25 under in 11 rounds playing 3 years
  • Kevin Chappell is 25 under in 15 rounds playing 4 years
  • Chris Stroud is 23 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • J.B. Holmes is 23 under in 18 rounds playing 5 years
  • Brian Gay is 21 under in 15 rounds playing 4 years
  • Lucas Glover is 20 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Scott Piercy is 20 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)
  • Jason Day is 65 under, playing 5 years (-13.0)
  • Paul Casey is 26 under, playing 2 years (-13.0)
  • Phil Mickelson is 48 under, playing 4 years (-12.0)
  • Scott Stallings is 34 under, playing 3 years (-11.3)
  • Jordan Spieth is 54 under, playing 5 years (-10.8)
  • Dustin Johnson is 51 under, playing 5 years (-10.2)
  • Lucas Glover is 20 under, playing 2 years (-10.0)
  • Brandt Snedeker is 43 under, playing 5 years (-8.6)
  • Jim Furyk is 25 under, playing 3 years (-8.3)
  • Kevin Streelman is 41 under, playing 5 years (-8.2)
  • Brandon Hagy is 16 under, playing 2 years (-8.0)
  • Nick Watney is 29 under, playing 4 years (-7.3)
  • Branden Grace is 14 under, playing 2 years (-7.0)
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello is 14 under, playing 2 years (-7.0)
  • Scott Piercy is 20 under, playing 3 years (-6.7)
  • Vaughn Taylor is 32 under, playing 5 years (-6.4)
  • Kevin Chappell is 25 under, playing 4 years (-6.3)
  • Jimmy Walker is 31 under, playing 5 years (-6.2)
  • Adam Hadwin is 12 under, playing 2 years (-6.0)
  • Matt Jones is 29 under, playing 5 years (-5.8)
  • Pat Perez is 29 under, playing 5 years (-5.8)

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

DraftKings Picks

*Here are the guys that are very costly:

  • Dustin Johnson – $11,600
  • Patrick Cantlay – $10,900
  • Paul Casey – $10,500
  • Jason Day – $10,300
  • Brandt Snedeker – $10,100
  • Matt Kuchar – $9,900
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick – $9,700
  • Phil Mickelson – $9,500
  • Branden Grace – $9,300
  • Graeme McDowell – $9,200
  • Viktor Hovland – $9,100
  • Jordan Spieth – $9,000

I have to say that this week will be very difficult to maneuver. Last week was a breeze, most of the players at the top were well worth the value that DraftKings gave them and the big problem was who to take at the top.  This week it’s the complete opposite, of those at the top of our list I can see a problem with every one of these players.  In looking at Dustin Johnson at $11,600 on paper it seems fair, he has a good record at Pebble, he came in 2nd last week in Saudi Arabia.  But the problems, he is still fresh off of his knee surgery in September and he played in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, 8,000 miles and 12 time zones from Pebble Beach.  Of course, he’s not flying on in the back of a United 777 that has gone from Dubai to Washington D.C. to San Francisco, rest assure Johnson probably had a private jet whisk him back to his home in Florida after play on Sunday and then flew to Pebble shortly afterward.  The same with Phil Mickelson who we shouldn’t feel bad about either.  But back to Johnson, yes he is a good choice, with good weather I think he will play well this week and be in contention on Sunday.  The same with Patrick Cantlay at $10,900.  The only problem I have, the price is really high so you’re going to have to make a choice.  Now Paul Casey is $10,500 and he has played well in this event the last two years but the price is high, again your going to have to ask yourself if you want to spend the money.  The same with Jason Day at $10,300, with good weather and Day’s good record he should play well this week, but be careful in waiting to make sure he is healthy and playing.  Brandt Snedeker at $10,100 is another of those tough choices, yes he won twice at Pebble and finished T-3rd at the Farmers and T-12th at Sony but missed the cut last week in Phoenix.  Matt Kuchar is $9,900 is not a good pick, he hasn’t played well at Pebble in his 13 tries and despite winning two weeks ago in Singapore I think he is a no go for this week.  Matthew Fitzpatrick at $9,700 is high and will frustrate a lot of folks, he was fifth last year in the Race to Dubai on the European Tour, he played at the AT&T Pebble Beach last year and missed the cut.  But he played at Pebble in the U.S. Open in June and finished T-12th so Fitzpatrick is possibly a good pick.  Phil Mickelson is a gamble at $9,500, yes he is the defending champion and plays well in this event.  But he has played terrible until last week when he finished T-3rd in Saudi Arabia which probably will give him some momentum.  But will the jet lag get to him, that could be a problem?  Braden Grace at $9,300 is a good choice, Was T-28th at Pebble last year and T-20th in 2018, for his 8 rounds is 16 under par so is not bad.  Graeme McDowell is at $9,200 and he won at Pebble in the U.S. Open in 2010 and won last week in Saudi Arabia.  The only problem again the jet lag issue.  Viktor Hovland at $9,300 is not a good choice, yes he finished T-12th in the U.S. Open in June at Pebble but has struggled lately so I say no to him.  The same about Jordan Spieth at $9,000 he is really struggling, he missed the cut last week in Phoenix and his game in not in great shape right now.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Cameron Champ is $8,800 he was T-28th in his first AT&T Pebble Beach last year, his year has been very consistent and in his last three starts was T-14th at Sentry ToC, T-21st American Express and T-16th at the Farmers.  Max Homa at $8,300 is a great choice, was T-10th last year at AT&T Pebble shooting 68-67 on the weekend, on a roll, was T-9th at the Farmers shooting 67 in the final round, was T-6th at Phoenix.  Tom Hoge at $7,900 is ok, been playing ok of late, same with J.B. Holmes at $7,900 he was T-16th at Phoenix even with a 75 in the final round.  Holmes finished runner-up at Pebble in 2010.  Also like Scott Piercy at $7,800, at last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach started the final round one shot back, had a final round 73 to finish T-10th.  Was T-20th in 2018.  Was T-6th at Phoenix last week despite shooting 71 in the final round.  Jim Furyk at $7,800 is also worth it, has played great in the past at Pebble.  Scott Stallings at $7,600 is also a good bet considering he was 3rd at Pebble last year, 7th in 2018 and T-14th in 2017.  In his last 12 rounds in the AT&T Pebble Beach, he is 34 under par.

What are the “Bargains” out there?

So who are our bargains for the week?  I will say this, there aren’t that many which means you better be careful in spending for the star players. You can get Andrew Landry for $7,400 he won the American Express and could play well this week.  Adam Long is $7,300 he was 8th last week in Phoenix.  Jimmy Walker is $7,200 and a past champion.  He has been up and down this week, he may have a good week.

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

The 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 which are tree-less and could get clobbered by the wind.  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.
  • The good news is the weather is supposed to be good, still if your on the ocean holes at Pebble you will still feel the winds and on the shore course of Monterey Peninsula, the winds always blow in off the ocean.
Here are some more key stats to look to 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 48-year-old Phil Mickelson won for the fifth time.
  • 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.  In 2018 Ted Potter, Jr. won in his ninth start.  It wasn’t that great of a year, he missed the cut in five events and his best finish was T-13th before winning at Pebble.
  • 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 7 of the last 15 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 in 2017 Jordan Spieth had the 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 60 years of the American Express, nobody has ever won both the AT&T and the American Express in the same year.  Andrew Landry will be looking to break the streak this year and you can bet the farm that won’t happen.
  • 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 which 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 hardest courses on tour 5 of the last eleven years, Last year it ranked 1st while it was 10th in 2018, 2nd in 2017 and 3rd in 2016.  In putts inside 10 feet, Pebble was 1st last year, 6th in 2018, 4th in both 2017 and in 2016, 15th in 2015, but first in 2014.   In putts outside of 25 feet it was T-20th last year, 36th in 2018,  31st in 2017 and 9th in 2016.
  • 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 15 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.

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

Best Bets:

Dustin Johnson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T45 T2 3 T41 T4 T2 CUT T5 T55 Win Win T7

We have to think that he is healthy again and his bum knee is a thing of the past. He played good in Saudi Arabia finishing 2nd, he brings to Pebble a game that is sharp. He is long overdue to win again at Pebble, just worried a bit over the jetlag since he is 12 time zones away from were he was on Sunday.

Jason Day

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T4 T2 T5 T11 T4 T64 6 T46 T14 6

Since the weather is so good this could be a great week for Jason. We still don’t know the state of his back or neck problem, it seems it can go out at any time so we are always careful in picking him but Pebble is a special place for him he always plays well here. In the last five years, he has finished inside the top-11 each year and in his last 12 rounds is 39 under par.

Paul Casey

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
2 T8

Was runner-up last year at Pebble and is 26 under in his last 8 rounds in the AT&T Pebble Beach.

Best of the rest:

Phil Mickelson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
Win T2 65 2 T19 T60 Win T9 T8 T55 CUT

Is know as the “Prince of Pebble” because of his five wins, he is defending champion. Has played poorly since winning last February, but bounced back last week in Saudi Arabia to finish T-3rd to get us thinking he may be ready to play great this week.

Max Homa

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T10 CUT T29 CUT

On a roll, was T-6th last week at Phoenix was T-10th at Pebble last year.

Patrick Cantlay

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T35 T48 T9

Has been consistent on tour in 2020, is 2nd in greens hit this year, has played ok at Pebble was T-9th in 2013.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT

Was T-12th at the U.S. Open in June at Pebble.

Solid contenders

Graeme McDowell

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T18 CUT T7

His biggest win came at Pebble at the 2010 U.S. Open, just won last week in Saudi Arabia.

Scott Piercy

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T10 T20 T55 CUT CUT

At last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach started the final round one shot back, had a final round 73 to finish T-10th. Was T-20th in 2018.

Branden Grace

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T28 T20

Has played good in his last four starts, was T-9th in Phoenix, T-17th at Abu Dhabi, Won South African Open, T-3rd Alfred Dunhill.

Brandt Snedeker

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T20 4 T35 Win CUT Win CUT T21 CUT T58

Won the AT&T Pebble Beach twice in 2015 & ’13. Was T-3rd at Farmers, T-12th at Sony.

Matt Kuchar

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T22 T62 CUT WD T14 T34

Was T-16th at Phoenix, won the week before at Singapore on the Asian Tour

Long shots that could come through:

Scott Stallings

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
3 7 T14 CUT CUT

Last couple of years his game has always risen to the occasion when he comes to Pebble, he was 3rd last year, 7th in 2018 and T-14th in 2017.

Viktor Hovland

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Playing in his first AT&T Pebble Beach, but as an amateur finish T-12th last year at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Lucas Glover

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T7 T11 CUT

Was T-7th last year at Pebble, T-11th in 2016

Seems to get worst instead of better

Jordan Spieth

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T45 T20 Win T21 T7 T4 T22

Did win AT&T Pebble Beach in 2017 but was T-20th in 2018 and T-45th last year shooting 66-68 and then 74-75. Missed cut last week in Phoenix.

Comments

  1. I was with you guys a few years ago, had a bad beat, and walked away. Signed up a few weeks after a rather long snooze. Thanks to your site and researching strategy with the current field, I picked Tony and Web on Wednesday night. I was a happy boy going into the playoff.

    Any recommendation on betting strategy? I want to improve my wagering.

    Thanks again for a great site.

    Mark Riggs

  2. Mark R
    To be frank, the only betting strategy I have is to be disciplined, find out what works for you and don’t get screwed up listening and going to so many different sites. I am amazed at how many “experts” there are out there that not only charge but make a big deal on how they can improve your bottom line if you buy into their system. If they are good trust me they don’t have to start a site and “sell” tips to us because if they were so good they would just make money on their own.
    In golf it’s really hard to make money, information is the key and frankly, sometimes we can go overboard on information.

    One big tip to always remember, know your limits and know when it’s a good time to bet big and when it’s time to limit yourself. Last week in Phoenix was a good time to bet big, lots of good players with lots of good buys. But this week was terrible, so the smart thing to do was to bet small just enough to have something to root for but just enough that it didn’t really matter. Again, have a strategy and stick to it, if the week is thin and the prices high, go small. Save it for the next week or the week after.

    Up this helps

  3. Thanks for the response, Sal. Discipline seems to be the key in most of what I found when researching.

    Speaking of “pay for tips” and if you want a laugh, check out ‘Action’ on Showtime. There is this guy “Vegas Dave”, he is that guy.

    Keep up the great work on the site and thank you for the quick responses

    Mark

  4. I have seen “Vegas Dave,” very entertaining but I don’t think I will use his tips. Even though I do tips, I try to give everyone the tools to make their own decisions, feel that no site has better tools for fantasy golf than GOLFstats.

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