No matter your memory of Pebble Beach Golf Links, there isn't another that's more indelible because of the backdrop. For anyone who has been told to visit at least once, there's a sense that everyone has given how much of it we've seen over time. And for anyone who has been told that it's just not the same on television, that's true, but with evolution of high definition and 4K, the difference between fantasy and reality never has been closer.
Of course, there is no substitute for competing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. A field of 156 has assembled along 17-Mile Drive for what is the last multiple-course tournament of the 2019-20 season. Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Shore Course will share duties for the 11th consecutive year.
Scroll past the projected contenders for more on the courses, the format and an explanation of the cut.
POWER RANKINGS: AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM
RANK PLAYER COMMENT 15 Kevin Streelman 14 Scott Stallings 13 J.B. Holmes 12 Matthew Fitzpatrick 11 Russell Knox 10 Scott Piercy 9 Max Homa 8 Patrick Cantlay 7 Branden Grace 6 Paul Casey 5 Brandt Snedeker 4 Phil Mickelson 3 Graeme McDowell 2 Jason Day 1 Dustin Johnson
In addition to reviews of past champions Jimmy Walker (2014), Vaughn Taylor (2016) and Jordan Spieth (2017), and notables such as Matt Kuchar, Kevin Na and Kevin Kisner, Tuesday's Fantasy Insider will include breakdowns of every course and direction for fantasy gamers to customize lineups.
The most recent lasting image at Pebble Beach is of Gary Woodland clutching the U.S. Open trophy with a smile befitting of a first-time major champion. Since, Pebble Beach has been given a haircut. Fairways have returned to their familiar width, so they will be inviting once again. The stock par 72 stretches only 6,816 yards, so you'd expect driving accuracy to soar with headcovers remaining on drivers for most of the round. It's annually among the leaders in addressing approach shots from the shortest grass.
Spyglass Hill debuted in the rotation in 1967. It's been a fixture every year except 1977 and 1980. Since last year, new tees were constructed on the par-5 seventh, par-5 11th and par-4 18th holes. The aggregate increase of 75 yards has stretched the overall length to 7,035 yards, giving this year's test the distinction as the longest of any of the iterations of all of the courses in tournament history. Still, as a par 72 with four par 5s, it's projected to yield a scoring average close to par.
MPCC's Shore Course tips at 6,958 yards, but it's a par 71 with five par 3s and four par 5s, three of which are on its inward-nine 37. It's usually the easiest of the three in relation to par, but it's comparatively more difficult when the wind kicks up. That might happen on Saturday. Otherwise beautiful conditions will define the experience. It'll be cool, however, with daytime highs struggling to reach 60 degrees.
All 54 greens consist of Poa annua prepped to run no longer than 12 feet on the Stimpmeter, wind pending. The targets at Pebble Beach are among the smallest on the PGA TOUR at just 3,500 square feet. Even the 6,000-square foot greens on MPCC – largest of the set – are smaller than TOUR average. This is to be expected on shorter courses.
The structure of the tournament is similar to The American Express. Each golfer is paired with an amateur and another pro-am team. Together, they rotate through each of the three courses. The cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am differs in that only the low 60 and ties move on to play the final round on Pebble Beach. However, all golfers who finish in the low 65 and ties receive FedExCup points and official earnings. The low 25 pro-am teams also will play in the finale on Pebble Beach even if the pro missed the cut in the individual competition.
ShotLink technology is set up only on Pebble Beach, so all measured data will apply to at most 36 holes (for those who survive the cut).
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Fantasy Insider
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.