Course Pebble Beach Golf Links 6,816 yards, par 72
Also the first two days at:
Spyglass Hill, 6,953, par 72
Monterey Peninsula Country Club, 6,914 par 71
Defending champion: Vaughn Taylor
His last victory before last year's title was at the 2005 Reno-Tahoe Open, which he also won in 2004. Those are Vaughn's only 3 PGA titles. Played awesome last year to edge out Phil, who missed a four footer on 18 for birdie that would have sent it into a playoff.
Thursday: 62, 100% rain, wind S 13 MPH
Friday: 58, 60% rain, WSW 11 MPH
Saturday, 58, Sunny NNW 10
Sunday: 62 Sunny, N 7.
First two days will be challenging weather-wise. They've gotten a ton of rain this year already in California. The CBS guys said in Torrey two weeks ago that California is over their drought with all the rain they've gotten. And they've been in a massive drought for several years so they got buckets of rain. The course is pretty soggy, so length off the tee will be a real bonus this weekend.
Thursday-Friday: Golf Channel, 2-5 PM CT/3-6 PM ET
Saturday, Golf Channel 12-1:30 PM CT/1-2:30 PM ET, CBS: 2-5 PM CT/3-6 PM ET
Sunday, Golf 12-1:30 PM CT/1-2:30 PM ET, CBS 2-5:30 PM CT/3-6:30 PM ET.
They asked John Feinstein and Geoff Shackelford of Golf Channel what has been the greatest major run, Jack's 1972 season when he won 2 of 4 majors, including the U.S. when he hit one of the greatest shots of all time in majors as he hammered a 1 iron to the par 3 17th at Pebble, which played over 200 yards at the time, to a foot to clinch the major. Jack also almost won a third at Muirfield at the Open Championship. Or Tiger's 4 straight majors from 2000-01, when he won the U.S, at Pebble, running away from the field, the Open Championship at the Old Course, the PGA at Valhalla, then the 2001 Masters. Feinstein went with Tiger. Shackelford went with Jack. I'll have to give Tiger the edge on that, but Jack's the greatest of all time in my book. He has 18 majors to Tiger's 14 against what I would say was a much tougher field of "elite" players. Tiger had Phil and Ernie, maybe Vijay Singh too, but Jack had Arnie, Trevino, Player, Watson, Johnny Miller, that type of eliteness to face in majors, so to me, Jack's the greatest. Plus his personal character was second to none, while Tiger's is not too swift in that category. Personal conduct and character are part of being the greatest and Jack had those two qualities down pat.
Pebble has hosted 5 U.S. Opens and one PGA. Jack won the 1972 Open, Watson the '82 Open, Tom Kite won in '93, Tiger won in 2000, and Graeme McDowell won in 2010. Lanny Wadkins won the 1977 PGA Championship. Pebble will host the Open again in 2019.
A 106 yard par 3 that is surrounded by traps and offers the Pacific on the players right side and behind the green for your golf ball's swimming pleasure. It can be an easier shot with minimal wind, but the first two days will feature 10-15 MPH winds and wet conditions, so club selection will be at a premium. A player can use anywhere from a sand wedge to a 4 iron depending on the wind. It's a tricky and beautiful hole.
Amen Corner for Pebble; No's 8, 9 and 10.
A 428 par 4 will challenge the players with a blind drive, then what Jack calls the best second shot in all of golf. It's over the Pacific to a small green surrounded by sand and trouble. If you fade an iron or hit it fat, here comes the ocean. Super challenging, outstanding hole.
A 462 yard par 4. Will play long in the wet conditions. The players will need some driving accuracy on this hole and with their approaches. The ocean runs on the right side and there's pretty thick rough on the left. The ninth has a small green like all of Pebble's are, and water on the right, thick rough around the green, and Poa Annua greens which are tricky to read and putt on. Par here is a pretty good score for the competitor.
A 430 yard par 4, and another difficult hole, it's the same kind of setup as 9 with the ocean on the right and some tricky rough on the left. The green is small and there is sand around it. A birdie and two pars on Sunday on these three bears would be a pretty good job and keep a guy, who is high on the leaderboard, in the hunt.
A 178 yard par 3. It's where, in the 1982 U.S. Open, Tom Watson told his caddie, Bruce Edwards, "I'm not going to get it close. I'm going to make it." Watson proceeded to chip in and capture the '82 Open over Jack. It was reported that he told Jack, "Put that in your pipe and smoke it." Not cool there.
A 543 yard par 5 with the Pacific running along the left side, so for those players who draw it you better aim right or you're in the rocks or swimming. But the competitor can't be too far right because there is out of bounds on that side. There's a large Cypress tree in the middle of the fairway so players don't want to be too straight and get behind it. Should be some electricity on Sunday, and with the wet conditions, it looks like a 3 shot hole, so a birdie on the 18th might very well decide this year's AT&T Pebble Beach.
Won here in 2009 and 2010, though he also collapsed in the 2010 U.S. Open here as he had a pretty substantial lead heading into Sunday, but gagged it away to McDowell. Dustin will be playing with his father-in-law, the Great One, Wayne Gretsky, so maybe the Great One's four Stanley Cup titles with the Edmonton Oilers in the 80's, and his 9 Hart Trophies as the MVP of the NHL, will rub off on the 32 year old Johnson.
Phil's has won here 4 times in '98, '05, '07, and '12. In 2012, he won it on Sunday when he shot a 64 playing with Tiger who shot a 75. Phil is still playing super golf at 46, so he could win number 5 here. That would break the tie with Mark O'Meara for most titles at the AT&T.
Finished T-6th here last year and is an elite player. Still can't get over his epic Ryder Cup performance where he went toe-to-toe with Rory on Sunday, after Rory had just won the Fed Ex Cup, and defeated him on the 18th, with clutch putt after clutch putt securing the 1 up victory and paving the way for the U.S.'s blowout of Europe, 17-11, at Hazeltine. The 26 year old went 3-1 in the Ryder Cup and the future is through the roof unlimited.
Sneds won here in 2013 and 2015, so it bodes well for another odd year victory. The putter can be off the charts good, and if it is, the 36 year old could capture his ninth PGA tour victory. Brandt's play in the Ryder Cup was beyond clutch. He went 3-0-0.
I am going to go with the guy who is first on tour in greens in regulation, and first on tour in strokes gained on approach shots along with birdies made. His putting hasn't been its best this season at times, but it's close to being really consistently great. He's closer and closer to winning a regular event and will be a "major" factor again in the majors. Going to the well again with the 23 year old.
J. J. Spaun
The 26 year old from LA finished fourth last week at the Waste Management shooting -15. Hideki was unstoppable last week, like he's been all season with 4 wins in the six events he's played in. Justin Thomas is also en fuego with victories at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, and the Sony Open in Hawaii. Justin and Hideki aren't playing this week, so the field is relieved.
But Spaun also finished T-9 at the Farmers two weeks ago, so he's trending well. This guy is close to breaking through. Could be this weekend.
Speaking of Great Ones, here are two of the greatest.