AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Pebble Beach, California
Overnight leader and World No. 6 Jordan Spieth authored a bogey-free 2-under-par 35-35=70 in the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to post 19-under 268, good for a 4-shot win over fellow Texan Kelly Kraft and his ninth PGA TOUR title in 108 career starts, 100 as a pro.
The AT&T athlete records his fifth top-25 finish in five visits and third top 10. His previous best was T4 in 2014, adding a T7 in 2015.
The 23-year-old bags a fourth top 10 of the season (in four starts) and third top 5, joining solo 3rd at the Sony Open and T3 in his title defense at the SBS Tournament of Champions.
Over his last five "official" worldwide events, he’s tossed up five straight top-10 finishes, two of those wins, having also claimed the Emirates Australian Open – for a second time (2014) – in a playoff back in November.
After opening in 3-under 68 (Monterey Peninsula CC) and 7-under 65 (Spyglass Hill Golf Course), the Dallas native and resident co-led with Derek Fathauer and World No. 1 Jason Day. It was his eighth career 36-hole lead/co-lead, first since the 2016 Masters, and improves to 4-for-8 (2017 AT&T Pro-Am; 2016 Hyundai TOC; 2015 U.S. Open; 2015 Masters).
In round 3, the University of Texas product fired an 8-birdie 7-under 65 (Pebble Beach Golf Links), tying the low round of the day. He recorded 13 one-putt greens, 23 putts total, and 4.783 SG: Putting en route to a six-shot lead over two-time AT&T champ Brandt Snedeker and seven better than Kraft and two-time AT&T champ Dustin Johnson.
Paired with Snedeker in the finale – both accompanying their respective amateur partners – Spieth put it in cruise control. On nine (of 14) fairways and 16 greens in regulation, he circled a two-putt birdie-4 at two and dropped a 29-footer for a '2' at the par-3 17th, more than enough to hold off Kraft, who shot 67.
Snedeker matched 70s with the eventual champ, dropping two spots to solo 4th, while Johnson, playing with Kraft, carded a 68 to finish solo 3rd, five back.
This was Spieth’s 12th career 54-hole lead/co-lead and improves to 7-for-12, converting seven of his last eight (2016 Masters, T2). It’s his first win on TOUR since the 2016 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, where he was the 54-hole leader by one and won by three.
Also, last season, Spieth was the 54-hole leader (by five) at the Hyundai (now SBS) TOC and won by eight, and was the 54-hole leader at the Masters (by one), losing to Danny Willett by three.
Spieth’s nine wins:
2017 AT&T Pro-Am: 54-hole leader by 6; won by 4
2016 DDI: 54-hole leader by 1; won by 3
2016 HTOC: 54-hole leader by 5; won by 8
2015 TOUR Championship: 54-hole leader by 1; won by 4
2015 John Deere Classic: 54-hole leader by 2; won in PLAYOFF (Tom Gillis)
2015 U.S. Open: 54-hole co-leader; won by 1
2015 Masters: 54-hole leader by 4; won by 4
2015 Valspar Championship: came from 1 back w/ 2-under 69; won in PLAYOFF (Sean O’Hair, Patrick Reed)
2013 John Deere Classic: came from 6 back w/ 6-under 65; won in PLAYOFF (David Hearn, Zach Johnson)
This was the 76th playing of the AT&T Pro-Am and 70th straight edition with the 6,816-yard par-72 (36-36) Pebble Beach Golf Links (PB) serving as host. Joining the 3-course rotation for the first three rounds were the 6,958-yard par-71 (34-37) Monterey Peninsula CC’s Shore Course (MP) and the 6,953-yar par-72 (36-36) Spyglass Hill Golf Course (SH), with the final round contested at PB.
Due to inclement weather, rounds 1 and 2 were each contested over a two-day period while all four rounds were played with lift, clean and place in effect.
The cumulative scoring averages: R1: 73.335; R2: 70.896; R3: 71.641; R4: 70.662; Total: 71.801. Spieth posted rounds of 68-65-65-70.
Note: Rounds 1 and 3 were the highest scoring averages on TOUR this season for their respective rounds.
Spieth’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 65 players):
Note: Strokes gained stats were only collected on PB, so are not listed below.
Birdies: 23 (T1)
Bogeys: 4 (T1)
Par-3 Scoring: 2.65 (T1)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.79 (2nd)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.69 (T36)
Driving Accuracy: 43/55 (T14) at 78.18 percent
Greens in Regulation: 57/72 (3rd) at 79.17 percent
Putts per GIR: 1.667 (T2)
Total Putts: 113 (T9); by round: 30-27-23-33
Scrambling: 11/15 (8th) at 73.33 percent
Spieth collects 500 FedExCup (FEC) points for the victory and bumps 13 places to No. 3, 787 points behind leader Hideki Matsuyama and 704 points shy of Justin Thomas, both idle this week.
Top 10 in FEC standings (points):
1. Hideki Matsuyama (1,697)
2. Justin Thomas (1,614)
3. Jordan Spieth (910)
4. Pat Perez (907)
5. Brendan Steele (827)
6. Jon Rahm (771)
7. Mackenzie Hughes (716)
8. Hudson Swafford (610)
9. Charles Howell III (584)
10. Rod Pampling (560)
Note: Adam Hadwin (finished T39), dropped from 10th to 12th.
With a Strength of Field rating of 350, Spieth collected 52.00 world-ranking points and stays at No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
The Top 10 in OWGR (this week’s finishes):
1. Jason Day (T5)
2. Rory McIlroy (idle)
3. Dustin Johnson (3rd); UP one
4. Henrik Stenson (idle); DOWN one
5. Hideki Matsuyama (idle)
6. Jordan Spieth (Won)
7. Adam Scott (idle)
8. Justin Thomas (idle)
9. Sergio Garcia (idle)
10. Patrick Reed (T23)
EIGHT of the top 25 in OWGR were in the field. THREE finished in the top 10:
No. 1 Jason Day (T5); No. 3 Dustin Johnson (4th); No. 6 Jordan Spieth (Won)
No. 10 Patrick Reed (T23); No. 12 Justin Rose (T39); No. 21 Matt Kuchar (CUT); No. 22 Phil Mickelson (65th, last place); No. 23 Jimmy Walker (T55)
Kelly Kraft: Playing out of the penultimate twosome, the World No. 391 enjoyed a 5-under-par 32-35=67 in the final round to conclude on 15-under 272, up one place to a career-best solo 2nd, four shy of his fellow Dallas resident Spieth.
He leapfrogs 220 spots to a career-best 171st in OWGR and 85 spots to a career-best 20th in the FEC standings. This was the second-year man's 41st career start (39 pro) and his second top 10, joining a previous-best T5 at the 2016 John Deere Classic.
It was his eighth start of the season and second top 25, brushing aside T21 at the RSM before the holiday break. The Web.com Tour grad was making his third appearance, cashing a T70/MDF last year and T40 on debut in 2013.
After opening in 69-70-66, he began in a two-way T3 on 10-under, seven back. The SMU alum striped 12 (of 13) fairways and pelted 16 greens in regulation, erasing a lone bogey-4 at seven with six birdies, highlighted by four in a row on holes 3-6. For the week, he carded 20 birdies against five drops and the top 10 gets him an exemption in this week’s Genesis Open.
Yahoo! Low Rounds:
R1: 4-under 68s: Rick Lamb (SH); Seung-Yul Noh (SH); Joel Dahmen (SH)
R2: 8-under 64s: Derek Fathauer (PB); Jason Day (SH)
R3: 7-under 65s: Jordan Spieth (PB); Luke Donald (SH)
R4: 7-under 65: Gary Woodland (PB) *career-best 10 birdies
Leaders/co-leaders by round:
R1: Rick Lamb (co): finished T62: drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R1: Seung-Yul Noh (co): finished T8: drops to 0-for-2 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R1: Joel Dahmen (co): finished T48: drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Jordan Spieth (co): Won: improves to 4-for-8 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Derek Fathauer (co): finished T23: drops to 0-for-1 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Jason Day (co): finished T5: drops to 3-for-12 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Jordan Spieth: Won: improves to 7-for-12 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
No traditional draw, so we’ll concentrate on the 3-course rotation.
A total of 77 pros from a field of 156 (52 on each course) made the scheduled 54-hole cut of even-par 215. However, because of the pro-am format, only the top 60 (and ties) advanced to Sunday's final round (12 players were MDF).
Breakdown of the 65 pros who made it to R4:
The course rotation alternates in even/odd years.
By example, 2017 is the same as 2015, 2013, 2011, etc.
Snedeker won in 2015 and 2013 (MP-SH-PB), and D.A. Points won 2011, also on the MP-SH-PB rotation.
SEVEN players finished in the top 5 this week, SIX were on this same rotation, including Spieth. Here’s the others:
Kelly Kraft (2nd); Dustin Johnson (3rd); Brandt Snedeker (4th); Jason Day (T5); Gary Woodland (T5).
Jon Rahm (T5) was the lone exception, playing a SH-PB-MP rotation.
FIVE of the last SEVEN winners all played PB in rounds 3 and 4.
2016 winner Vaughn Taylor and 2014 winner Jimmy Walker are the two bucking the trend, both on a PB-SH-MP rotation. 2012 winner Phil Mickelson won on a SH-MP-PB rotation.
Did You Know?
It’s been 31 events since the last pre-tourney odds-favorite(s) won. Spieth is the most recent, winning the 2016 DEAN & DELUCA as a 6/1 outright. In fact, the Texan owns the last two wins in this regard, claiming the 2016 Hyundai TOC as a 4/1 favorite. Spieth was a consensus second on the bookmaker’s list this week at 9/1.
Dustin Johnson: The two-time AT&T Pro-Am champ and World No. 4 was the pre-tourney fave at 8/1 and shot a final-round 4-under-par 36-32=68 to finish solo 3rd, five back.
He was making his 10th appearance and this is his seventh top 25, seventh top 10, and sixth top 5. He is the most recent back-to-back champ at Pebble Beach, winning in 2009 (reduced to 54 holes) and 2010.
The 32-year-old was making his 205th career start and records his 26th overall podium and sixth third-place finish. It was his fourth start of the season and second top 10, joining a T6 at the SBS TOC. The South Carolinian also finished T3 at the unofficial Hero World Challenge and T2 in Abu Dhabi (Euro Tour).
After kicking off in 70-69-68, he began in a two-way T3, seven shy. Playing out of the penultimate twosome, Johnson circled five birdies versus one drop, landing 10 (of 14) fairways and 15 greens in regulation. He missed an 8-footer for birdie on 18 that would've shared second.
First-timers and/or Rookies:
First-timers at AT&T: 31
Top-10 finishes: 2
Jon Rahm: The World No. 42 was the top debutant after a final-round 4-under-par 35-33=68, wrapping on 12-under 275, up one spot to T5.
This was his fourth straight week of action and finishes off a run of T16-1-T34 with another top-5 finish. It’s the 22-year-old’s fifth top 25 of the season in seven starts and second top 10, joining his breakthrough win at the Farmers.
After an opening 1-over 73 (SH), he responded with rounds of 67-67-68, suffering just one blemish over his final 36 holes, a double bogey-6 at the third in R4. For the week, Rahm carded one eagle and 16 birdies, six in R4, versus four bogeys and the double, and bags his sixth top 10 (fourth top 5) in just 19 career starts. He climbs five places to a career-best 37th in OWGR.
Top-10 finishes: 1
Mackenzie Hughes: Along with Rahm, the World No. 116 was the other first-timer to finish in the top 10 and also took top rookie honors with a four-way T10 on 8-under 279 (70-70-68-71).
The 26-year-old was a breakthrough winner at The RSM Classic in November as a 200/1 outright. That was his ninth career start, fifth as a member, and he led after each of the first three rounds, eventually prevailing in a 5-man playoff. This was his 10th start of the season, fourth top 25 and second top 10.
10 of 13 winners this season are in their 20s, including the last SEVEN consecutive:
Safeway: Brendan Steele (age: 33)
CIMB Classic: Justin Thomas (age: 23)
WGC-HSBC: Hideki Matsuyama (age: 24)
Sanderson Farms: Cody Gribble (age: 26)
Shriners: Rod Pampling (age: 47)
OHL Classic: Pat Perez (age: 40)
RSM Classic: Mackenzie Hughes (age: 25)
SBS TOC: Justin Thomas (age: 23)
Sony Open: Justin Thomas (age: 23)
CareerBuilder: Hudson Swafford (age: 29)
Farmers: Jon Rahm (age: 22)
WMPO: Hideki Matsuyama (age: 24)
AT&T: Jordan Spieth (age: 23)
10 of the 13 winners have emerged out of the FINAL group on Sunday. The three outliers:
Hideki Matsuyama: Penultimate threesome: erased 4-shot deficit with 5-under 66; won WMPO in playoff.
Jon Rahm: Fifth-to-last threesome: erased 3-shot deficit with 7-under 65; won Farmers by 3.
Brendan Steele: Third-to-last threesome: erased 4-shot deficit with 7-under 65; won Safeway by 1.
54-hole leaders/co-leaders are now 5-for-13 converting. Hideki Matsuyama (WGC-HSBC), Mackenzie Hughes (The RSM Classic), Justin Thomas x2 (SBS TOC and Sony) and now Spieth have been successful.
NOTE: Matsuyama also won the unofficial Hero World Challenge as 54-hole leader.
Patton Kizzire (Safeway), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Luke List, Chris Kirk (Sanderson Farms), Lucas Glover (Shriners), Gary Woodland (OHL), Adam Hadwin (CBC), Patrick Rodgers, Brandt Snedeker (FIO) and Byeong Hun An (WMPO), all failed to convert.
Consecutive top 10s on TOUR:
Jordan Spieth: (1st-T9-3rd-T3)
Brandt Snedeker: (4th-T9)
Rory McIlroy: (T4, WGC-HSBC; P1, 2016 TOUR Championship)
Earned top-10 exemptions into Genesis Open (along with runner-up Kraft):
Rob Oppenheim: The sponsor invite, Web.com Tour member, and World No. 449 finished a career-best T8 on 9-under 278 (69-69-68-72), his second top 10 finish 26 career starts, eclipsing T10 at the 2016 Quicken Loans National.
Cameron Percy: The 42-year-old, Web.com Tour grad, and World No. 428 recorded a four-way T10 on 8-under 279 (73-66-71-69), his fourth top 10 in 103 career starts, first since T10 at the 2015 Byron Nelson.
The TOUR stays in California but heads south for this week’s Genesis (formerly Northern Trust) Open. Bubba Watson won last year’s edition as the 54-hole leader, prevailing by one over Jason Kokrak and Adam Scott.
Stay tuned to this space for all the latest player news and analysis as the TOUR plays its 14th tournament of the season (of 47).