The PGA Tour moves from the desert of Arizona back to the coast of California for this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at the picture-perfect Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The long-running tournament, the fourth of the five-event “West Coast Swing,” provides yet another opportunity for the players to rack up some early-season FedExCup points.
The field in Pebble Beach, California includes just one top-10 ranked player with world No. 3 Dustin Johnson entering off a European Tour victory at last week’s event in Saudi Arabia.
Other top-ranked players include Nos. 11 and 12 in Tony Finau and Jason Day, respectively, alongside 2017 Pebble Beach winner Jordan Spieth (No. 21).
Tournament: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Dates: Feb. 7-10, 2019
Where: Pebble Beach, Calif.
Course: Pebble Beach Golf Links (Host)
Distance: Par 72/6816 yards
Architect: Jack Neville and Douglas Grant
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $1,296,000
Defending Champion: Ted Potter Jr.
Marquee Players: Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood, Patrick Cantlay, Matt Kuchar, and Patrick Reed.
TV & ONLINE COVERAGE
All times EST.
Thu 3-6 pm (GOLF)
Fri 3-6 pm (GOLF)
Sat 1-2:30 pm (GOLF), 3-6 pm (CBS)
Sun 1-2:30 pm (GOLF), 3-6 pm (CBS)
PEBBLE BEACH WEATHER FORE-CAST
Thu High 54°, Partly Cloudy
Fri High 54°, Rain
Sat High 53°, Partly Cloudy
Sun High 53°, Showers
Like last week’s PGA Tour stop, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am began in the 1930s.
Hosted by Bing Crosby, which led to the tournament nickname “The Crosby Clambake,” the inaugural 1937 tournament was just an 18-hole event. But as the years progressed, and its popularity increased, more rounds were added, and within 20 years it was a full 72-hole tournament.
Sam Snead won the inaugural tournament (1937), and over the years it’s boasted such champions as Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus (3 times), Tom Watson (twice), Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson (four times).
The only man with more Pebble Beach Pro-Am titles than Snead and Mickelson’s four is two-time major champion Mark O’Meara, who owns five.
The course is also famous for being the site of Tiger Woods’ 15 stroke obliteration of the field at the 2000 U.S. Open, one of the six times a major championship was hosted by Pebble Beach.
Since 1947, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am has been played among three courses. Those courses have changed a few times over the years, but currently the other two courses, along with Pebble Beach Golf Links, are Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club.
2016-19 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
1986-15 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
1953-85 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am
1937-52 Bing Crosby Pro-Am
HISTORY: RECENT CHAMPIONS
2018: Ted Potter Jr.
2017: Jordan Spieth
2016: Vaughn Taylor
2015: Brandt Snedeker
2014: Jimmy Walker
2013: Brandt Snedeker
2012: Phil Mickelson
2011: D. A. Points
5 Mark O’Meara (1985, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1997)
1955-56 Cary Middlecoff
1972-73 Jack Nicklaus
1977-78 Tom Watson
1989-90 Mark O’Meara
2009-10 Dustin Johnson
265 (−22) Brandt Snedeker (2015)
Pebble Beach: 62 (Tom Kite, David Duval)
Spyglass Hill: 62 (Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald)
Monterey Peninsula: 60 (Sung Kang)
Largely off the strength of his third-round 9-under 62, the 34-year-old Potter, then the world’s 245th ranked golfer, was a 54-hole co-leader with Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer.
A bogey on the first hole drew even more attention to his recently dominant playing partner. That would be the only square on his final round scorecard.
It seemed to work, because birdies on Nos. 2, 4, 6, and 7, combined with some surprising struggles by DJ, gave Potter the lead at the turn.
On the back nine, it seemed like just a matter of time before either Potter crumbled, or one of the big names caught him. Neither happened.
Nine back-nine holes became nine pars for Potter, who never looked the slightest bit shaken, despite this being his first time in serious contention in five years.
Johnson fell further back down the stretch, and when Mickelson, Reavie, and Day all failed to eagle the signature 18th hole (all three carded a par), Potter just needed to not completely trip over himself on the last hole to win, which he did with a tap-in par, after his birdie attempt skidded just inches past the hole.
Potter, who led the field in birdies for the week, hit 12 of 14 fairways in the final round, and was even better around the greens. Impressively, he was 6-for-6 on Sunday in par saves from off the green. Everyone waited for him to wilt, and it just never happened.
FINAL TOP 5
1 Ted Potter, Jr. -17
2 Phil Mickelson -14
2 Chez Reavie -14
2 Jason Day -14
2 Dustin Johnson -14
The field this week in Pebble Beach, California is headlined by three former superstar winners in Phil Mickelson (2012, 2007, 2005, 1998), Dustin Johnson (2010, 2009), and Jordan Spieth (2017).
Other top-ranked players include Tony Finau (No.10), Jason Day (No. 12), Tommy Fleetwood (No. 14), Patrick Reed (No. 15), Patrick Cantlay (No. 18), and Matt Kuchar (No. 20).
In addition to Mickelson, DJ, and Spieth, the field at Pebble Beach also includes former winners in Brandt Snedeker (2013, 2015), Jimmy Walker (2014), and Phil Mickelson (1998, 2005, 2007, 2012).
Other familiar names include Adam Scott, Paul Casey, Cameron Champ, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Kevin Kisner, Davis Love III, and Pat Perez.
FULL FIELD & ODDS
Joel Cook contributed to this report.
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images