Photo credit – Pebble Beach Company

It’s time for the annual pro and celebrity golfer takeover of the Monterey Peninsula as the AT&T Pebble Beach-Am is in town.

The tournament kicks off Thursday with the PGA Tour pros and their amateur partners comprised of celebrities, as well as captains of industry, taking to three courses used in the tournament.

The Pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shores course, and Spyglass once again make up the rotation for the event.

Each team will play a round on each course before the cut comes after play on Saturday, setting the field for the final round Sunday at Pebble Beach. The celebrities are back after Covid-19 restrictions limited the field to the pros in 2021.

The top 60 and ties will make the professional cut, with the top 25 pro-am teams advancing as well.

The purse for the tournament is $8.7 million with the winner taking home $1.44 million.

Some fun facts on the Pebble Beach Golf Links heading into the tournament since it will be prominently featured throughout the tournament.

*Of all the world class courses I have played – and there have been many – the three-hole stretch of Nos. 8, 9, and 10, is the toughest, yet most beautiful stretch of holes.

No. 8 is a par 4 that features a blind, uphill tee shot, followed by a downhill approach over the cliffs to a smallish green. It is an approach that Jack Nicklaus called “the finest second shot in golf.”

Get some oxygen before No. 9 and 10. The two holes can be stretched out to 1,000 yards and both feature fairways that slope to the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a stunning walk down both fairways, with the chance to get lost in the beauty of the views including Carmel Bay and its beach.

*The professionals usually eat par 5’s alive when they get to a regular tour stop, but that’s not the case with the two on the back 9 at Pebble.

No. 14 plays 572 yards, bends twice to the right, and features an uphill, blind approach to a two-tiered green. So tough, the hole was one of six last year on tour that played over par, with three others being majors.

The 18th is one of the most famous holes in golf but is no picnic either.

The smart play is to make it a three-shot hole. The best chance to get home in two is a drive between tree in the middle of the fairway and the retaining wall bordering the left side of the fairway along the Pacific Ocean.

*The course features more bunkers than St. Andrews.

*Four players have won both the AT&T and the U.S. Open when played at Pebble Beach.

Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Tom Kite, and Tom Watson have pulled off the double with Nicklaus and Woods doing it in the same year!

So, who navigates the three tough courses as well as the paparazzi and not your usual golf crowd to bring home the title?

This week my fantasy league is asking for the selection of three players, with the total under par the three are determining the winner.

I went with Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, and Russell Knox.

This event last year was one of the pivotal in Spieth’s returning to one of the top players in the world after a bad slump. He finished T4 at the Waste Management, then came to Pebble and finished T3, cementing he was back. The great ball striker and putter won the tournament in 2017.

Cantlay – well – it’s hard to leave him off any picks and that intensifies at Pebble, where he has made the cut all five years he has played in the event and tied with Spieth for third last year.

Knox was a bit of a wild card pick. A lot of other people in the pool had Spieth and Cantley as picks so I thought I needed to dig a bit.

Knox has finished in the top 15 the last three times here and being from Scotland is certainly not fazed by oceanside courses.

The course and the tournament play well on TV, so if you are not going to make the trek down to the area, put your feet up, grab a nice bottle of wine and enjoy the golf and the views!

By Dennis Miller

Related Posts