Wednesday, February 6, 2019

What To Look For - 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

The Tour comes to Pebble Beach for the 78th AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Pebble Beach is the last of the events played on multiple courses for the season which makes Richie3Jack a happy man. They are continuing to play Monterrey Peninsula CC and SpyGlass as part of the rotation for the event.

One of the real gems in the world of golf is Cypress Point. The event used to play Cypress Point, but stopped due to Cypress Point not having any black members at the time. The course considered expediting a process to include black leaders, but balked due to trying to handle prospective members that had been on their 7-year waiting list and would be leapfrogged in the process.

However, Monterrey Peninsula is a fine replacement with stunning views. And that’s what will be talked about mostly this week…the stunning views of the area. Meanwhile, every time this year I get calls from old friends about a friend of mine that got drunk and stole a bunch of the flagsticks and tee markers at Pebble Beach about 20 years ago, only to be caught by police later on.

Generally, the pros really love playing here due to the course designs. But, they are averse to playing in the tournament because of the unpredictable weather in Pebble this time of year. In fact, this week the highs are only supposed to be in the mid-50’s. Combine that with 6-7 hour rounds playing in the Pro-Am it can shatter this week and next week at Riviera for a Tour player.

The course is mostly about putting, wedges and mid irons. The putting part is tricky because it does fit better putters as Pebble has the lowest make percentages, by far, on Tour. This is due to the massive slopes and slow, bumpy greens. However, there are some below average putters that have course knowledge and gain an advantage due to their course knowledge. And if the greens are in really bad shape, then that swings the favor back to the poor putters. However, from what I’ve been told the greens are in pretty good shape, by Pebble standards, this week.

While the 18th is an iconic hole, it’s not a Critical Hole. The last Critical Hole on the course belongs to the par-5, 14th hole.

The graphic doesn’t do the hole justice. The tee shot is uphill to a plateau. Even today’s bombers have a difficult time reaching the green in two shots as between the climate and the uphill tee shot, the ball goes nowhere off the tee. That also usually leads to very uneven lies on the 2nd shot. There are also overhanging trees up by the green and the green is a difficult one to putt on. Every single shot on this hole is tricky.

It ranks the 3rd most difficult driving hole, the most difficult approach shot hole and the most difficult hole on shots around the green. It’s average in terms of Putting, but remember that Pebble has the lowest make percentage greens on Tour. Average make percentage on Pebble is a very low make percentage on other courses.

Lastly, Ho-Sung Choi will make his PGA Tour debut. He is at 350/1 odds

I’ve stayed mum on Choi because I don’t think my opinion will be a popular one. However, I am a bit torn on this one as I perceive Choi as more or less a gimmick and I don’t know if that is good or bad for the game of golf.

I’ve seen swings of Choi just a few years ago where he didn’t do all of the goofy theatrics after his shot and thus, the gimmicky nature to his game. He’s also a shining example of how the OWGR continues to screw over PGA Tour players for other non-PGA Tour players and events, in particular the Tours over in Asia.

However, I don’t see irreparable harm being done and if it gets people interested in watching the game, then that’s a positive. I guess I just wish so many people were not enamored by new shiny objects that appear in front of them on the internet.

Projected Winning Score: -15


Dustin Johnson +550
Jason Day +900
Jordan Spieth +1,800
Patrick Cantlay +2,200
Tommy Fleetwood +2,500
Phil Mickelson +2,500
Matt Kuchar +2,500
Adam Scott +3,000


Sung-Jae Im +5,000
Robert Garrigus +35,000


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