AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM
The PGA tour head to California this week for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where each professional in the field is joined by an amateur golfer, a firm favourite for the players, it also is nice to see the amateur golfers given a chance to mix it with professionals during tournament play. All the 156 professionals and amateurs will play all 3 courses; Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. After this there will be a cut on Saturday and a selected amount of celebrity and professional teams will play on the Sunday with their professional playing partner.
This week sees the return of Rory Mcilroy to the PGA tour this season; he will tee it up alongside his Dad. He will look to continue his form from the European Tour, in his last 2 starts on the European Tour he has finished, T3rd and 2nd. Having missed a large amount of last season through injury and even being inhibited whilst playing, he will want to re-establish himself on the PGA tour with his goal of completing the career Grand Slam, hopefully being completed at the Masters in April.
Another player who had a disappointing season, who has dedicated himself to reclaiming his world number one title is Jason Day. The 2018 Farmers Insurance Open champion, is showing signs of the golfer we saw in 2015 and 2016 when he enjoyed his most successful period on the PGA tour.
With the return of these two world-class players to a growing group of potential winners, it sets up a mouth-watering season on the PGA tour. John Rahm is wrestling with Dustin Johnson for the world number one crown. Justin Thomas is flying and is the form golfer over the last 18 months with numerous wins, including his first major. Then you have the experiences guys in Stenson, Rose, Garcia and the returning Tiger Woods, who will want to show that life and winning doesn’t stop over the age of 35.
TIPS FOR THE WEEK.
Rory Mcilroy; looking to continue his good form this year, he is making his debut at this tournament, but this shouldn’t make a massive difference to a player of his calibre.
Brandon Grace: with his low-ball flight and control of his golf ball in windy conditions, he is perfectly suited for links golf. Recently changed apparel sponsor to Peter Millar, look out for his classic style and modern colours.
Jordan Spieth: defending champion and with a point to prove. Jordan has fallen behind both Johnson and Rahm in the world rankings in the last 18 months. He had his best ball striking season last year, but he had an uncharacteristically cold putter. He will be hoping to rectify this issue this year.
Paul Casey: the Englishman will want to rid himself of the reputation that is starting to gain some traction as “Mr Thursday”. Over the last year he has struggled on Sundays, averaging well over par for his fourth round. Will he be able to do better this year?
Kelly Rorhback: The former collegiate golfer has been seen on the golf course all over the world recently, playing in the European Tours Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland and other pro-am events. The Baywatch star certainly proves that golf is (or can be) cool.
Bill Murray; an ever-present feature of the AT&T Pro-Am, Bill Murray never fails to entertain the crowds and playing partners at this tournament. He has had some interesting outfit choices, he still chooses to wear G/FORE gloves to add some more colour to his game.
Wayne Gretzky; “The great one”, will partner his son-in-law Dustin Johnson at this year’s event. The Ice Hockey legend, plays golf to relax, but I’m sure the competitive juices will be flowing this week.
Justin Verlander; Pitcher for the newly crowned World Champion Houston Astros, he also holds a handicap of 4. Impressive I know, he will join Russell Knox on the course this week, will they be a winning team?