Horses for Courses: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2020

Hey, jealousy.

The idyllic coast of Northern California provides a stunning backdrop this week as 156 TOUR pros and their amateur partners tee it up at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links (Par-72; 6,816 yards) will host two of the four rounds, including the final sprint on Sunday, while Spyglass Hill (Par-72; 7,035) and Monterrey Peninsula Country Club (Par-71; 6,958) will help sort out just how many (Top 60 and ties) advance after 54 holes.

 

The three courses used in this rotation are annually some of the shortest on TOUR. Rob Bolton has you covered for all of the course information and the changes for 2020. I’ll point out they’re not preparing for a U.S. Open this summer so I KNOW the fairways will be wider!

For the 11th consecutive season this three-course rotation remains the same so course history is a very pertinent angle. Pebble Beach has the smallest greens on TOUR and the short courses will require experience and patience to navigate. So will the Pro-Am format!

The prize pool has risen to $7.8 million this season with the winner taking home $1.404 million plus 500 FedExCup points.

RECENT WINNERS

2019: Phil Mickelson (-19, 268)

Trailed 54-hole leader Paul Casey (second) by three before winning by three on Monday morning after closing with 65. … The last five winners haven’t hit the top 10 in driving accuracy but all found the top 10 in GIR. … Same goes for Par-4 scoring where the last five haven’t finished worse than T2. … Led the field in birdies (25) and Birdie-or-Better Percentage on the greens. … Picks up title No. 5, tied with Mark O’Meara for the most ever. … Oldest winner at 48.

Notables in the field this week:¬†Paul Casey returned in 2018 (T8) after a 16-year absence. … Scott Stallings picked up another top-10 payday with solo third. … Jason Day (T4) has done everything but win here. … No rookies inside the top 20. … Cool temperatures all week plus Lift, Clean and Replace all four rounds.

2018: Ted Potter, Jr. (-17, 270)

Posted 62 in Round 3 to find himself in the final group with Dustin Johnson. … Beat Johnson (T2) by three heads up to win for the second time on TOUR. … Led the field in birdies (24) and was second in Par-4 and Par-5 scoring, just like Mickelson. … Entered the week 73-MC-MC. … Only second left-hander to win. … Won in his fourth visit, best of the last five winners. #ExperienceMatters.

Notables in the field this week:¬†Johnson co-led after 36 and 54 holes. … Day, Mickelson and Chez Reavie also shared second. … 66 for Stallings (seventh) was one of three on Sunday. … Brian Gay (T8) followed with T7 last year. … Defending champ Jordan Spieth cashed T20.

2017: Jordan Spieth (-19, 268)

Brilliant 65 on Pebble Beach in Round 3 saw him break a tie after 36 holes to lead by six after 54. … 70 on Sunday saw him win comfortably by four shots. … Top 10 in every major statistical category besides fairways (T14). … Only made one bogey on the weekend. … Finally broke through on his fifth try.

Notables in the field this week: Two-time winners Dustin Johnson (third) and Brandt Snedeker (fourth) joined Day (T5) rounding out the top five.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2018-19 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.

* – previous top 10 finish here since 2015

Greens in Regulation

4  *Paul Casey

5  Jason Dufner

8  Josh Teater

9  *Scott Piercy

15 *Kevin Streelman

16 *Jason Day

17 Cameron Tringale

18 Brice Garnett

20 Matt Kuchar

22 Cameron Champ

24 *Jim Furyk

25 Hank Lieboda

Putting: Birdie-or-Better Percentage

2  *Jordan Spieth

4  Patrick Cantlay

7  Aaron Wise

8  Wyndham Clark

9  Justin Rose (T6, 2016)

11 *Si Woo Kim (T4, 2019)

14 Dominic Bozzelli

16 Rafa Cabrera Bello

19 *Dustin Johnson

20 *Troy Merritt (T8, 2018)

23 *Vaughn Taylor (2016 winner)

Scrambling

3  Patrick Cantlay

4  Aaron Baddeley

5  *Lucas Glover

6  *Matt Jones

9  Brian Stuard

11 Jonathan Byrd

13 *Jim Furyk

15 Kiradech Aphibarnrat

17 *Scott Piercy

19 Ryan Armour

21 *Vaughn Taylor

22 *Si Woo Kim

24 *Jimmy Walker

26 *Brandt Snedeker

26 Matt Kuchar

Horses

Phil Mickelson: The five-time champion has cashed Win-T2-T65 and T2 in his last four trips. #Landlord.

Dustin Johnson:¬†Twice a winner he’s been frustratingly all-or-nothing in his last four visits (T45-T2-3rd and T41). Over time he’s cashed 11 of 12 with two seconds and two thirds for a total of eight top-10 paydays. Oh, and he plays with Wayne Gretzky every year.

Brandt Snedeker: Cracked the code in 2013 in start No. 6 before winning again in 2015. Sandwiched between was MC followed by T35. Solo fourth in 2017 and T20 in 2018 suggested MC in 2019 was just about right.

Jordan Spieth:¬†The 2017 champ hasn’t missed in seven starts but last year (T45) was the first outside T22.

Jason Day:¬†Only Mickelson, Johnson and Furyk are more strokes under par since 1998. From 10 starts he’s cashed 10 times with four of the last five years inside the top five. The outlier was T11.

Figuring it Out

Paul Casey: Followed T8 in 2018 with the 54-hole lead last year.

Scott Stallings:¬†MC 2011 and 2012 but returned in 2017 (T14) followed by seventh and solo third. He’s 34-under over that stretch.

Brian Gay:¬†No course for old men? Don’t tell Gay and Mickelson! The laser straight driver has cashed six straight plus seven of his last eight, including top-10 checks the last two years.

Regulars

Graeme McDowell:¬†He’s won and cashed T16 in the U.S. Open here plus a pair of top-10 finishes over the years at the Pro-Am.

Kevin Streelman:¬†Since 2016 he’s cashed T17, T14, solo sixth and T7 last year.

Jimmy Walker: 2014 champion has six finishes T11 or better last decade.

Jim Furyk:¬†In 21 career starts he’s cashed 19 times, including the last six appearances, but has never won.

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