Jason Day and Dustin Johnson will be looking to bounce back from missing the cut at Torrey Pines two weeks ago with a solid performance at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week.
The world-number-one and four finished at a dismal three-over and two-over-par respectively to miss the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, but Dustin Johnson has two wins at the Pebble Beach event, in 2009 and 2010, to fall back on for confidence this week.
Four-time winner here, Phil Mickelson, expressed his love for this event in anticipation and is the joint second most successful player here, behind Mark O’Meara with five wins.
“I love this tournament. I love the golf courses,” Mickelson told UPI.com.
“We’ve had those little traditions that have been going on for many years. When I missed it last year, it was a lot more than just the golf and tournament that I missed. I missed the whole environment.
“We’ve made it kind of a tradition every year of getting together. So, it’s more than just the golf at this tournament, it’s special, and I really missed it.” he concluded.
Mickelson was beaten by one shot by Vaughn Taylor last year at 17-under-par and Taylor returns this year to defend his title. The winner the year previous, and in 2013, Brandt Snedeker is back on the Californian coast as the tournament’s record-score holder of 265 (22-under-par) from 2015. Previously mentioned past winners are joined by ex-champion counterparts Jimmy Walker, D. A. Points and Vijay Singh in appearance this week.
Despite its amateur inclusion, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is a fully recognised PGA Tour event with a $7,200,000 purse this year. The format, however, is unique. 156 professionals are paired with 156 amateurs as the individual championship (professionals only) and the team pro-am championship are competed for simultaneously.
The event is spread across three courses; Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. The pro-am pair will spend the first three days rotating through the three courses before a 54-hole cut is made. The professional top 60 (plus all ties) and pro-am team top 25 (plus all ties) will make the cut to play the final round back on Pebble Beach. The top 10 outside the cut line still earn official money and FedExCup points from this event.
Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill both play to par 72 with Monterey Peninsula at 71, but all three courses sit at roughly 6900 yards. Spyglass Hill is seen as not only the toughest course of this event but also one of the toughest courses in world golf with holes six, eight and 16 viewed as a collection of the hardest holes on the PGA Tour.
This event, albeit under different names, is one of the longest running events on the PGA Tour having been established in 1937. The PGA Tour’s most successful player Sam Snead won the inaugural tournament in 1937 at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. World events, such as World War II, caused numerous location changes and rule and name changes have incurred throughout its existence with it becoming a 72-hole event for the first time in 1958.
One tradition that’s stuck, however, is the pro-am status and some celebrity amateur names to look out for this year include singer Justin Timberlake; actors Mark Wahlberg and Bill Murray; former tennis star Andy Roddick and two-times Super Bowl winning quarterback Payton Manning. These names are all used to the limelight in their own walks of life, but how they will fare on the first tee with the eyes of the world’s best golfers on them is a different ball game all together.