The tour heads to pristine Pebble Beach for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. Pretty solid field. The weather has been an issue there with 60 MPH winds knocking down structures last Saturday and a lot of rain, up to 5 inches in the area. There is rain expected for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and winds up to 15 MPH which should make it interesting and challenging for the players.
Thursday-Friday, Golf Channel, 2-5 PM CT; Saturday, 12-1:45 PM CT, Golf Channel, 2-5 PM CT CBS; Sunday, 12-1:45 PM CT, Golf Channel, 2-5:30 PM CT CBS
Pebble Beach is 6,816 yards, Par 72. The first 3 rounds will also be played at Spyglass Hills GC (6,953 yards, Par 72) and Monterey Peninsula (6,956, par 72). The key holes at Pebble to me are 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 17 and 18. No.6 is a 506 yard, par 5 where the second shot is up a very steep hill, it’s a blind shot and there are bunkers surrounding the green. The Pacific is off to the right for any player who cuts it a little too much. No.7 is the signature hole on the course, a 106 yard par 3, that could either be a lob wedge or a 5 iron depending on the wind. The weekend may challenge the players with club selection as there will be strong gusts. There is trouble around and behind the green. No.8 is a 427 yard par 4 with a blind tee shot and a second shot over the Pacific to a green that is severely sloped from back to front and with bunkers surrounding it. No.8 is considered by many to be the toughest hole on the course. No.9 is a difficult, 481 yard par 4 with the Pacific on the right hand side, a long second shot over a bunker in front of the green, and, like most all of Pebble’s greens, a small size green. The greens are poa annua, which can be tricky to putt on. The 14th is the number 1 handicap hole. It’s 572 yards, a par 5. It’s a dogleg right then comes back to the left. Most likely a 3 shot hole this weekend with the wind. The green is elevated with a false front that can be tricky to negotiate . Bunkers are on the front right and front left. No. 17 is a 177 yard par 3 and home to the famous Tom Watson line in the 1982 U.S. Open when, after his caddie, Bruce Edwards, told him to get it close on his chip, Watson responded, “I’m not going to get it close, I’m going to make it.” He sank it and won the ‘82 Open over the great Jack Nicklaus. No. 18 is a 543 yard , par 5 with the Pacific covering the entire left side of the hole, so any player who overcooks it will be in the ocean. There are a couple of trees in the middle of the fairway that make it interesting if a player gets behind one of them off the tee. The green has a trap front right and is a larger green for Pebble Beach. Many magical moments there including Graeme McDowell’s 2 putt on Sunday in 2010 to win the U.S. Open on Father’s Day with his father in attendance from Northern Ireland.. Pebble Beach will once again host the U.S. Open, June 13-16th. So that’s pretty awesome stuff.
Defending champion; Ted Potter Jr. Won by 3 over Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Chez Reavie. Shot 69, -3, to finish the tournament -16.
Last week: Rickie Fowler imploded and almost lost the Waste Management Open after having a 5 shot 54 hole lead going into Sunday. A disastrous triple bogey on Number 11 in which he chipped his 3rd shot over the green into the water, then as he had dropped his ball and was surveying the green, his ball, with the course very wet from hard rain, rolled back into the water costing him another shot. He hit on the green in 6 and sank his 17 footer for triple. He bogeyed No.12 and was a shot behind Brandon Grace. But Grace faltered and Fowler birdied 15 and 17 and survived for a 2 shot victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Matt Adams and Geoff Shackelford were discussing on Golf Channel’s Alternate Shot segment whether Fowler is a closer or not after shooting 73 last Sunday to win. Shackelford said he is since he’s won the Players Championship, but Adams didn’t think so pointing to the fact that he has had 7, 54 hole leads and shot over par on Sunday and lost. I side with Adams. Until Fowler can close a deal in a major, and finish stronger on Sundays, I say he’s not a closer at all. Dustin Johnson won the Saudi International last week on the European Tour. He’s got it cookin it looks like.
You’ve got 4 time winner Phil Mickelson, 2017 winner Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, who has 5 top finishes since his Masters victory and a whole host of others who can win this tournament as evidence of Potter winning last year and Vaughn Taylor winning in 2016. Three weeks ago, Adam Long won the Desert Classic, so it’s roll the dice many weeks on the PGA Tour with all the talent and depth on tour. Dustin Johnson has 2 victories here in 2009 and 2010, though he did implode in the 2010 U.S. Open shooting 82 and losing a major he had a 4 shot lead in going into the final day. He has 7 top 5 finishes in the 11 events he’s played in here. He’s hard to go against, but I will. I’m taking a guy who finished tied second here last year with Day, Mickelson and Johnson and has been so close to winning on tour. He finished tied for 4th last week at the Waste Management. Taking the 37 year old from Wichita, Kansas. Give me William Chesney “Chez” Revie.