Players prepare for poor weather at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
February 07, 2019
By Jim McCabe, PGATOUR.COM
Two tied for the lead at AT&T Pebble Beach
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – In back-to-back groups Thursday afternoon, an amateur named Steve Green, and a two-time champion of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am named Brandt Snedeker were forced onto the beach to the left of the 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Errant tee shots and mad scrambles led to an improbable par by Green and an all-world birdie by Snedeker. That they barely avoided the crashing waves in Stillwater Cove to stay dry and even get to their golf balls was a larger layer of good fortune. But like the rest of their competitors in this iconic tournament, they probably aren’t holding out too much hope for the days ahead, because the forecast is turbulent.
Tee times for Friday’s second round have been pushed up to 7 a.m. local time, which means the first groups will be teeing off just as the sun rises. Heavy downpours are forecast to start late morning and, well, now is the time to embrace a positive attitude – and Roberto Castro is helping to set the tone.
“It’s not going to prevent me from enjoying my favorite golf course in a tournament I love,” said Castro, who opened with a 4-under 68 to get into a share of 18th. He made those four birdies and 14 pars in relatively gentle conditions at Pebble Beach Golf Links and knows that everyone is now going to speculate about where in the three-course rota will it be worse Friday.
Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which is probably the most exposed of the three courses? Spyglass Hills, which is longer and arguably the toughest of the three? Or Pebble Beach, which presents some severely challenging holes along the water and might offer the fiercest winds?
“I don’t think it really matters,” said Castro, who will move over to MPCC Friday. “Monterey is probably tougher in worse weather, but it is wide open.”
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Instead of analyzing which course presents what sort of challenge, Castro prefers to put his arms around the mental challenge that awaits. “To me, tough conditions help me turn my brain off,” he said. “When I was in college and playing in the rain, I was more likely to play on instincts, no analysis.”
Nick Watney, who shot 73 at Pebble Beach, always falls back on a memory of something he read as a kid, “how Tom Watson said it was all about attitude, that if you complain about it or fret about it, you were in trouble.” Watson was famous for playing well in adverse conditions and Watney said players need to think that way.
Branden Grace, last week’s runner-up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and a player who prides himself on an ability to handle tough conditions, opened with a 5-under 67 at Pebble Beach and approaches Friday’s round at MPCC with enthusiasm. “It’ll be on my mind, just grind, be patient, be patient.”
No worries, either, about what to wear. “A shipment (of clothes) arrived yesterday,” laughed the South African. “I’m all stuffed up.”
Castro said he’s prepared, too. “In both directions,” he laughed. “Yesterday I had two layers on and I was too hot. The next few days I’ll have enough clothes on to go skiing.”