The Confidence Factor: Horses for Courses AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

That’s a mouthful.

As usual, let’s take a peak at those who rake on the Monterrey Peninsula.

As usual, THE BUFFET will open tomorrow at its usual time.

Oh, and WEATHER:

Horses for Courses

 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach Golf Links (host)

Monterrey Peninsula, California

 

Pebble Beach Cheat Sheet

Yards (per official scorecard): 6,816
Par: 72 (36-36)
Greens: Poa annua
Stimpmeter: 11′ maximum
Rough: Rye at 2″
Architect(s): Jack Neville and Douglas Grant (1918); Ed Conner and Jack Nicklaus (1991).
Purse: $7.6 million; $1.368 million, 500 FedExCup points (winner).
Defending Champion: Ted Potter, Jr., -17.
Notes: The U.S. Open returns here in June.
Notes II: Pro-Am field of 156 pros will be cut to the top 70 and ties after playing ALL THREE COURSES.

This is a week of good news and bad news so bear with me.

The good news is this is the LAST, multi-track event of the season so no more rotations and amateurs to worry about from here on.

The bad news is the forecast is complete garbage. Pro-am rounds that already push six hours will now do so in cold, damp conditions. The GAS tank will be tested this week but I would suggest the almost $1.4 million for first place should keep most interested.

Although the course conditions will be IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM similar to the U.S. Open in June, playing Pebble Beach twice and understanding the routing won’t hurt, especially in these conditions.

This event, as you’ll read below, is one of the most mystifying to handicap in fantasy land.

  • The three courses all play less than 7,000 yards so there aren’t many names to cross off before we get started.
  • Please know that Spyglass Hill USUALLY plays the most difficult of the three so that’s one I’m avoiding if I can.
  • The weather already caused a mass exodus before Monday as the field has shuffled considerably. There aren’t many events that are “cold weather” on TOUR but links golf in cold temps shouts OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP.

History Lessons

Previous Winners (since 2012):

Year Winner Score Comment
2018 Ted Potter, Jr. -17 Beat Dustin Johnson head’s up by three shots to win easily.
2017 Jordan Spieth -19 Sandwiched 65-65 to lead by six after 54 holes.
2016 Vaughn Taylor -17 Sat six off Phil Mickelson’s lead before winning by one with 65.
2015 Brandt Snedeker -22 Set the tournament record. Again.
2014 Jimmy Walker -11 Led by six after 54 and won by one as DJ almost caught him.
2013 Brandt Snedeker -19 First time he set the tournament record.
2012 Phil Mickelson -17 Closed with 64 to win for the fourth time.

Recent History Lessons

2018-19 Winners

Event Winner
Safeway Open Kevin Tway**
CIMB Classic Marc Leishman
CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES Brooks Koepka
Sanderson Farms Championship Cameron Champ**
WGC-HSBC Champions Xander Schauffele
Shriners Hospitals for Children Bryson DeChambeau
Mayakoba Golf Classic Matt Kuchar
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III
Hero World Challenge* Jon Rahm
Sentry TOC Xander Schauffele (2)
Sony Open in Hawaii Matt Kuchar (2)
60th Desert Classic Adam Long**
Farmers Insurance Open Justin Rose
Waste Management Rickie Fowler

(* unofficial event; **First-time winner)

Facts and Figures:

This three-course rotation has been in play since 2010 so there should be a high level of comfort for the usual suspects. As is the case with links golf, Mother Nature should and will have her say this week. The accomplished, veteran player should have even more of an advantage than usual in this incredible setting.

Tournament Record: 265 (-22); Snedeker.
Course Records (last or playing this week): Pebble Beach – 62; David Duval (1997).

Spyglass Hill – 62; Mickelson (2005).

Monterrey Peninsula Country Club – 60; Sung Kang (2016).

Recent Defending Champion(s): Dustin Johnson (2009-10) is the only player since 1990.
Multiple Winners (entered) Phil Mickelson (four times); Johnson (twice) Snedeker (twice) and Davis Love (twice).
First TOUR Win (last): D.A. Points (2011).
First-time in the field: Brett Ogle (1993).
Low Round 2018: 62; Potter, Jr., (MPCC, Round 3).
Odd Fact: There have only been THREE international winners in history.
Odd Fact II: The only 20-somethings to win this century are Tiger Woods and Johnson.

The Confidence Factor was the weekly column I wrote for PGATOUR.COM. It has evolved into Horses for Courses. I’ve included the link here for you. It can also be found in The Confidence Factor section at my website. For now. Until I make a new category. Relax.

Inside the ropes

The last four winners should tell you what the “new” champion looks like here.

If that’s the case, good luck, even more, this week.

Taylor and Potter literally came from nowhere to win and neither hit it a mile.

Spieth and Snedeker also don’t roll off the tongue when waxing poetically about the bombers of this generation.

Toss in windy conditions, a pro-am format and 156 players and yeah.

This week I’m relying on the weather players to do their jobs. The good news is that they all start on MPCC and should be able to post a number to defend Friday and Saturday.

Trend or Not a Trend?

Winning Stats from the last four years:

Stats 2018 2017 2016 2015
Ted Potter, Jr. Jordan Spieth Vaughn Taylor Brandt Snedeker
Winning Score -17 -19 -17 -22
Driving Accuracy T13 T14 T38 T38
Greens in Regulation T9 3 T2 T3
Putts Per GIR 4th T2 3 16
Putting: Birdie-or-Better % 4th T5 3 21
Scrambling T19 8 60 1
Bogey Avoidance T16 1 T11 1
Par-3 Scoring T41 T1 T4 T5
Par-4 Scoring 2nd 2 T2 1
Par-5 Scoring 2nd T36 T12 T28

Chalk

Dustin Johnson: Fresh off a win in the Middle East, he’ll look to make it back-to-back weeks and win No. 3 at Pebble. His record in less-than-ideal conditions doesn’t hurt this week either.

Jason Day: T11 in five of the last six here tells me all I need to know.

Phil Mickelson: Looking to make it five, he’ll need a classic bounce-back result after his MC in Phoenix. I can’t wait to see BOTH BLACK GLOVES in action this week on a track and event he loves.

Brandt Snedeker: I am leaning on the course historians because they’ve done the business is both great and marginal conditions. His short game and ability to get the ball in the hole on Poa pushes him up the list.

Matt Kuchar: Hot guys are just that and not many can brag they’ve had a better 2019 than Kuchar. With nothing outside T23 in his last five, I don’t need to remind you he has two wins and T4 last week.

Branden Grace: Tough finish last week in Phoenix but he’s been around the block to know that he’s close. The rust was knocked off at Torrey and it’s time to hop on board. His only TOUR win was on the other coast at Harbour Town on tiny greens in blustery conditions.

Paul Casey: I’ve seen what the Honma machine is up to. Casey was T2 LTO so he’s obviously well onboard. If he’s in the field, he’s in this list more times than not. His first event last year since 2002 saw him cash T8.

Jordan Spieth: With T22 or better in six tries, the 2017 champ has plenty more good ones than bad ones here. I think the conditions will help him stay focused and his short game can push him over the top.

Tommy Fleetwood: The “new event” angle was burned off last year. I’d play him with a three-club bag this week as he’ll feel right at home with this forecast plus costal golf.

Tony Finau: With THE PLAYERS and PGA Championship moved up this year, similar weather could hit one or both. I’m interested to see how the big hitter is or isn’t affected by a bit of chill in the air. My guess is he will happily bomb away and catch another top 15. Too much talent.

Adam Scott: Showed up last year and shot a million in the first round. Showed up two weeks ago for the first time this season at a brand-new event and was T2. I’ll lean on the ball-striking and class.

Matthew Fitzpatrick: Another week, another country for the Englishman who claimed fourth in Singapore followed by T16 in Saudi Arabia last week. The British should all feel at home this week.

Shane Lowry: Scalding-hot form (T12, win) plus never MC in four tries here equals dots connected. He’s had more than his share of success in links golf.

Patrick Reed: Led the field in Strokes-Gained: Putting on the Poa annua of the South Course last time out. The travel never bothers me with him.

Chez Reavie: Finally cracked the code last year with T2 after his playoff defeat at WMPO. This year he cruises in T3, T28 and T4 in three events in 2019. He’s seventh in Strokes-Gained: Total.

Supporting Actors

Kevin Streelman: He’s playing with Larry Fitzgerald and they’re quite good at this. T17, T14 and solo sixth last year is a nice three-year run!

Patrick Cantlay: Because he was my OAD at Torrey Pines (MC), there’s no question that he’ll open with 61 at MPCC and go on to great things this week.

Pat Perez: Everyone overlooks him after Torrey. Don’t.

Nick Watney: NorCal kid was second in 2015 and has cashed in 11 of 14. I did notice he’s rattled off seven paydays in a row.

J.B. Holmes: This will be the third week running that his course form has sucked a few in. At some point he’ll come good, right? I’m in this week.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello: Euros might get some extra play this week as they might deal with these conditions more frequently. Now, I’m not sure how many LOVE these conditions but they all seem know how to work the ball in the breeze.

Russell Knox: Peeled off seven straight weekends with T10 in Phoenix the best of the bunch. Riding one with form > picking up an ice-cold body. All three cashed checks here are T28 or better.

Jimmy Walker: Hasn’t MC here since 2010 and that’s covered about every kind of weather possible. He’s also cashed eight of his last nine on TOUR.

Chesson Hadley: Too many good ones from his four previous tries.

Sungjae Im: Not many rookies break through here or even find the top 10. Im is obviously cut from a different cloth.

Coming in HAWT

Long Shots, Course Horses, Wings, Prayers

Trey Mullinax: Trending in the proper direction, he added to his fruits last week.

Doug Ghim: I didn’t even want to include him after his T3 in Colombia followed his T20 at Torrey Pines.

Matt Jones: If there is going to be one place to whip it out, this is it. Loves Pebble and his record here confirms that feeling.

Adam Hadwin: He’s cashed three top-10 paychecks in seven starts in 2019.

Russell Henley: I’m trying to catch him on the way up after T15 at WMPO.

Joel Dahmen: Eight straight crashed and burned last week. West coastie should jump back on.

Michael Thompson: I love when guys don’t play the week before. T69, T9 and T13 in three 2019 starts.

Scott Piercy: Hasn’t missed in eight straight and had his best Pebble outing (T20) last year. #Converged.

Graeme McDowell: Some will point to his U.S. Open victory in 2010 while others T11 his last time out on Sea Island. He’s not eligible to defend his title as of today. Motivation or is the writing on the wall? He’s cashed in the top 10 twice in his last 54 worldwide starts.

Adam Svensson: Yeah, so? He’ll think it’s HOT this week.

Davis Love, III: Solo seventh in Hawaiian followed by T9 in Singapore shows the old man ain’t playin’.

Derek Fathauer: If I like Ghim off of T3 in Bogota, then his T5 can’t be that bad! Oh, he’s never MC in five tries including the last four here.

Robert Garrigus: In his last seven here he’s cashed between T27 and T20 four times.

Brian Gay: If you need a guy to make a cut, he’s done just that in 13 of his last 14 on TOUR and five straight at Pebble Beach.

Chris Stroud: Gut play of the week.

Sean O’Hair: Only MC twice in 13 tries.

Scott Langley: If you write fantasy golf you must include him because he tied Henley for low amateur at the 2010 U.S. Open here (T16).

Jonathan Byrd: If you love feel-good stories, read this and load up on Byrd:

Caution

Beau Hossler: Played twice, 74 each time on MPCC!

Cameron Champ: I know he’s a machine but this event rarely treats the youth well.

Ryan Palmer: Nothing better than T23 in 12 starts.

Horses for Courses

Player Cuts Top  Top Last  Best (Recent Others)
10s  25s
Old Money
Phil Mickelson 19/22 10 12 T2 (2018) Win (2012, 2007, 2005 and 1998)
New Money
Dustin Johnson 10/11 8 8 T2 (2018) Win (2009, 2010), 2nd twice, 3rd
Ted Potter, Jr 2/4 1 2 Win (2018) T16 (2013)
Jason Day 9/9 5 7 T2 (2018) T5 (2017), T4 (2015)
Chez Reavie 4/9 1 1 T2 (2018) T26
Kevin Streelman 7/11 2 4 6 (2018) T9 (2012)
Scott Stallings 2/4 1 2 7 (2018) T14 (2017)
Jimmy Walker 9/11 5 7 T8 (2018) Win (2014), T3 (2013)
Brian Gay 6/10 1 3 T8 (2018) T16 (2010)
Patrick Rodgers 1/1 1 1 T8 (2018)
Grayson Murray 1/2 1 1 T8 (2018) MC (2017)
Paul Casey 1/3 1 1 T8 (2018) MC (2002, 2001)
Jordan Spieth 6/6 3 3 Win (2017) T4 (2015)
Kelly Kraft 3/4 1 1 2 (2017) T40
Brandt Snedeker 8/11 3 5 4 (2017) Win (2013, 2015)
Kevin Kisner 3/6 1 1 T10 (2017) T39
Nick Taylor 2/4 1 1 T10 (2017) T30
Mackenzie Hughes 1/2 1 1 T10 (2017) MC (2018)
Vaughn Taylor 7/11 2 3 Win (2016) T10 (2015)
Jonas Blixt 3/5 1 1 3 (2016) T40
Freddie Jacobon 4/6 2 3 T4 (2016) T7 (2013)
Patrick Reed 5/6 2 4 T6 (2016) T7 (2013)
Roberto Castro 3/6 1 2 T8 (2016) T19 (2014)
Bill Haas 1/2 1 1 T8 (2016) MC (2006)
Nick Watney 11/14 3 5 2 (2015) T6 (2011)
Pat Perez 14/16 3 6 T4 (2015) T7 (2014)
Matt Jones 9/11 2 5 T7 (2015) T10 (2010)
Jim Furyk 18/20 5 8 T7 (2015) Nothing in the last decade
J.B. Holmes 10/12 2 6 T10 (2015) T2 (2010)
Chesson Hadley 3/4 2 2 T10 (2015) T10 (2014)
Alex Prugh 3/5 1 2 T10 (2015) T21, T27
Kevin Na 7/11 2 4 T4 (2014) T5 (2012)
Hunter Mahan 11/15 2 6 6 (2014) 2 (2011)
Graeme McDowell 2/5 2 2 T7 (2014) 8 (2005); 2010 U.S. Open champ here
Pre-2014 Cuts Top 10s Top 25s Last  Best (Others)
Chris Kirk 4/7 1 1 2 (2013) T39
James Hahn 4/6 1 1 T3 (2013) T26
Patrick Cantlay 3/3 1 1 T9 (2013) T35, T48
Aaron Baddeley 8/10 2 4 4 (2012) T6 (2011)
Jason Kokrak 5/7 1 3 T9 (2012) T19 (2014)
D.A. Points 6/12 1 2 Win (2011) T14 (2008)
Josh Teater 3/6 1 1 T5 (2010) T35 but hasn’t played since ’15
Sean O’Hair 11/13 1 2 T10 (2009) T16 (2013)
Matt Kuchar 7/12 1 2 T6 (2007) T14 (2009)
Ryan Armour 4/5 1 3 T9 (2007) T29 or better in his other 3

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter (@MikeGlasscott) or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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