The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is the third and final PGA TOUR event of the season employing the multiple-course setup. Since Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Shore Course (a par 70) rejoined the rotation in 2010, 30 singular-round scoring averages have been recorded. This set includes three each for MPCC and par-72 Spyglass Hill as well as four for host Pebble Beach, also a par 72.
Tossing out the fourth rounds at Pebble Beach since the field is restricted to that course for the finale, the range of scoring averages of the remaining 27 rounds stretches from the third round at Pebble in 2010 (-1.31 strokes to par) to the second round at Spyglass in 2012 (+1.25). Here are some other potentially helpful nuggets:
• Sixteen rounds have averaged under par.
• All nine of the rounds from 2010 rank inside the top-15 easiest.
• Six of the rounds in 2011 averaged over par.
• Five of the rounds in 2012 averaged over par.
• The three highest scoring averages overall occurred in 2012. In addition to Spyglass mentioned above, MPCC checked in at +0.84 in the third round last year; Spyglass played +1.23 strokes to par, also in the third round.
If you wanted to focus only on the easiest scoring averages in each round so that you can prepare your daily league lineup accordingly, here's that data:
• 2010 ... 1st: Pebble (-1.12); 2nd: MPCC (-1.25); 3rd Pebble (-1.31)
• 2011 ... 1st: Spyglass (+0.44); 2nd: MPCC (-0.71); 3rd: MPCC (-0.48)
• 2012 ... 1st: MPCC (-1.06); 2nd: MPCC: (-0.10); 3rd: Pebble (+0.41)
Save the anomaly of Spyglass in the opener in 2011, the message remains clear. Invest in MPCC and Pebble Beach to increase your odds of going low.
Look for my one-and-done selection, analysis and season totals in The TOUR Report on Wednesday. Also located there will be additional breakdown ("The Stats Suggest") of what recent winners of the tournament have in common.
On a Roll
James Hahn ... The rookie has no fear. He closed out both a T4 at PGA West and a T16 at TPC Scottsdale with 62s. His passable rendition of the moves to "Gangnam Style" speaks to his personality, but substance comes with it.
Nicholas Thompson ... Enters having posted top 25s in his last two starts, a not-so-insignificant fact he hasn't achieved on the PGA TOUR since August 2008. He stands to gain considerable ground in the upcoming reshuffle, so if you're looking for a boost, go get him. He's also proven to be a road warrior, averaging 32 starts per season in his first four years as a TOUR member (2006, 2008-2010).
Horses for Courses
Bob Estes ... In his last three appearances, he's fared no worse than T16 in 2010. Started 2013 with, coincidentally, a T16 at the Humana Challenge.
Charlie Wi ... Attempted to go wire-to-wire last year, and while he held a three-stroke lead entering the final round, he could only tip his cap as eventual champion, Phil Mickelson, went soaring by. Wi plays his best in small ballparks, but he's also proven comfy near his collegiate stomping grounds at Berkeley.
Tom Gillis ... Two top 10s and a T40 in the last three editions of this event.
Sean O'Hair, Troy Kelly, Jeff Gove, Paul Haley II, Andres Gonzales, Aaron Watkins, Andrew Svoboda and Bobby Gates ... All have started the season 0-for-3.
J.B. Holmes, Andres Romero and Donald Constable ... Both have started their seasons 0-for-2.
Tommy Gainey, Charlie Beljan ... Each of these 2012 Fall Series winners has missed his last three cuts.
Geoff Ogilvy ... After missing his last two cuts, he's now 69th in the world ranking and, therefore, on the outside looking in on the field at the WGC-Accenture Match Play. The Aussie is also not yet exempt into the Masters.
Not So Fast
Vijay Singh ... If the controversy surrounding his admitted use of a banned substance isn't enough of a distraction, a back injury that caused his early withdrawal last week is additional evidence that gamers should avoid for now.
D.A. Points ... The 2011 champ here has missed 12 of his last 17 cuts dating back to June. A back injury dogged him for a bit during the summer, but obviously, that was months ago.
Brendon de Jonge ... He's back, although he didn't really go anywhere. Consider that he logged eight rounds in the 60s to open 2013 and still failed to record a top 45! Then, after a T15 at Torrey Pines -- where he was over par in two rounds -- he strung another four sub-70s together at TPC Scottsdale to share sixth place. He landed here because he hasn't cracked the top 40 in four appearances, and since Monterey Peninsula's Shore Course returned in 2010, he's 0-for-2. He plays so often and at an above-average level more than not that this is merely a logical week to leave him alone.
Jason Kokrak ... Beware course history buffs. While he placed T9 here in his debut a year ago, he was recently sidelined with a sore back that forced him to withdraw from the Humana Challenge after 27 holes. He then missed the cut at the WM Phoenix Open by three strokes.
Back in the Saddle
Retief Goosen ... Making his PGA TOUR season debut. Sat out the last four months of 2012 after having back surgery in late August. Opened this year with two starts abroad, including a T20 at the Volvo Golf Champions.
Brian Davis ... Started the season 0-for-2 and then withdrew early from each of the last two events. Missed the cut here in 2010 and 2011 before a T29 last year.
Gary Christian ... Hasn't competed since withdrawing during the fourth round of the final stage of q-school with a rib injury. Owns conditional status on the PGA TOUR for the 2013 season.
Brian Gay ... It's not unusual that early-season winners adjust their schedules to accommodate events for which they've suddenly qualified. He banked exemptions into the Masters, PGA Championship and World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational with his victory at the Humana Challenge. He's also currently inside the bubble to qualify for the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Now second in FedExCup points, if he's inside the top 10 on March 4, he'll earn a berth.
Davis Love III ... The neck injury that bumped from after one round last week in Arizona prevents him from teeing it up this week. Save the cancellation of the AT&T Pebble Beach in 1996, DL3 participated in every edition since his rookie year of 1986.
Charley Hoffman ... Withdrew on Monday, thus ending his consecutive starts streak at this event at seven.
Kris Blanks ... Missed the cut last week in Scottsdale. Cited expected shoulder discomfort on Twitter. Added that he's meeting with "another dr [sic] to look into surgery." That was to occur this week.
D.H. Lee ... The q-school medalist survived his first three cuts before falling short by eight strokes at TPC Scottsdale. If the first reshuffle were to occur right now, he'd drop 22 spots from the No. 1 position.