The PGA TOUR makes the annual stop on the Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM. Vaughn Taylor shocked the golfing world with his win last year and is back to defend this week.
As a matter of housekeeping, the first three rounds rotate across the host course of Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Club and Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Shore Course. After 54 holes, the cut will be established and the final round will take place at Pebble Beach.
Each of the three courses play to a yardage of under 7,000, making it a bit surprising that a fair share of bombers have feasted here. Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson jump off the page in that regard. Success isn’t limited to length off the tee. For every DJ and Lefty, there is a Points and Taylor.
Perhaps as important as the iconic venues in terms of handicapping the field is a person’s history in this format. Because each group has two pros and two amateurs, the rounds can be quite long. The celebrity aspect can turn things into a bit of a side show. For a pro to succeed, they have to be willing to embrace that intricacy.
Course history and current form should probably outweigh statistical breakdowns for this tournament.
With that as the backdrop, here we go with this week’s ranking!
1. Brandt Snedeker – He has won this event twice in nine tries, but ironically has only one other top 25. He’s also historically strong at Torrey Pines, and his solid showing there two weeks ago tips the scales in his direction at Pebble Beach.
2. Phil Mickelson – Lefty finished second here last year and is a four-time winner. Perhaps this is the week he gets back in the winner’s circle for the first time since lifting the Claret Jug. For those that watched closely last week, he was in the hunt in the Waste Management Phoenix Open before a back-nine collapse. Birdies weren’t the problem.
3. Dustin Johnson – Has gone T6-T2-MC in his first three starts of 2017 across the globe, with the MC coming two weeks ago at Torrey Pines. While he’s made eight of nine cuts, with two wins and a runner-up throughout the years, he’s seemed to play a little more for fun with Wayne Gretzky as his partner than he has gone for the jugular.
4. Jordan Spieth – He’s 4-for-4 with two top 10s and all top 25s in his Pebble Beach history. He’s also been quietly very steady in 2017. He’s poised for a top-10 finish.
5. Justin Rose – Finally got around to playing this event for the first time last year and tied for sixth. A runner-up finish at the Sony Open and a T4 in the Farmers Insurance Open to kick off 2017 has him well positioned for contention this week.