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08 Feb 2018 by Sam Vickers

PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – Round One Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? 08th – 11th February 2018

Where? Pebble Beach Courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club, California

Format? 72-hole stroke play with one round played on each course over the first three days (54 hole cut) with the final round played at Pebble Beach. Pro-Am consists of paired (professional and amateur) better ball format

Purse? $7.4 million

Course Types? Clifftop links

Course Yardage? Pebble Beach: 6,816 yards Par 72 / Spyglass Hill: 6,953 yards Par 72 / Monterey Peninsula: 6,958 yards Par 71

Weather? Sunny, 0% chance of rain, low/high (55/76F – 13/24C), winds W/NW 5-10mph

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Golf or Golf Channel

Where can I stream the match? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the tournament online via Sky Go or Golf Channel subscribers can stream the tournament online via Golf Channel Digital

Are tickets still available? www.attpbgolf.com

Course conditions? Due to a spell of warmer weather, the courses will play firm and fast for the week which is unusual this time of year

FIVE PLAYERS IN FOCUS

PHIL MICKELSON

  • Mickelson has been touted a number of times over the past two seasons to claim his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship. Despite his good form, high finishes and impressive game, a win is yet to happen for the 47-year-old.
  • Mickelson loves the Monterey Peninsula having recorded four victories (1998, 2005, 2007 & 2012) and a runner-up finish (2016) since 1998.
  • Having recorded a T5 finish at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open and ranking sixth in SG: approach-the-green and SG: putting, his game is in a good position.

Predicted Performance
Even at the age of 47, Mickelson is one of the few golfers in the world who can still compete at the highest level at his age. His game is as strong as ever as he heads to one of his most successful venues where a fifth victory here and first worldwide in five years is a high possibility.

DUSTIN JOHNSON

  • World number one Johnson has started the season with a victory and runner-up position to his name.
  • The Monterey Peninsula has been a good hunting ground for Johnson with two wins (2009 & 2010) and a runner-up (2013) finish as well as a third place last year.
  • Johnson’s game is built around his driving prowess, ranking first in SG: off-the-tee (gaining 2.225 strokes over the field) and first in SG: total.

Predicted Performance
Johnson has no weaknesses in his game and is currently the undeniable world number one; however, for him to maintain this role he needs to keep producing. The firm and fast conditions coupled with his distance will make him a tough player to beat this week.

RORY MCILROY

  • McIlroy makes his first appearance here at Pebble Beach and will be partnered with his Dad, Gerry. The pair have teed it up together multiple times at the European Tour's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship which should only stand them in a better position.
  • Since recovering and returning from the rib injury that hampered his season last year, McIlroy has returned with the kind of form that made him world number one.
  • McIlroy has picked up a T3 and runner-up finish during his first two starts of the season after a four month lay-off. Arguably, he should have recorded a victory already as his game is in the position to do so.

Predicted Performance
McIlroy’s game has been impressive since his return and although he has had chances to win already, it has not quite clicked to the level he can achieve. With him not being familiar with three new courses, the chances of victory are naturally reduced but expect him to be in contention heading into Sunday.

GARY WOODLAND

  • Woodland recorded his third PGA Tour victory and first since 2013 at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open after a final round 64.
  • His form is as good as any player on tour right now, averaging seventh position in his last three tournaments. Furthermore, Woodland recorded a T5 finish here last year, showing his liking for Pebble Beach.
  • Woodland’s performance stats identify why his form in so good, ranking ninth in SG: approach-the-green, eight in SG: putting and second in SG: total. Additionally, he is ranked 10th in average driving distance at 313.9 yards.

Predicted Performance
Taking into account his form and key performance stats, the course conditions should fit his game perfectly where he could overpower the shorter and faster layouts. Back-to-back victories seem improbable but expect another top five.

SHANE LOWRY

  • The Irishman has taken up his full PGA Tour card for this season and has moved to the states in the process to give his game the best chance of succeeding.
  • Lowry recorded a T14 here last year in his first start in the tournament and as a player has who performed well in the past on firm, fast, links style courses; his game is perfect for Pebble Beach.
  • Lowry has slipped to world number 69 having not won since the 2015 WGC Bridgestone Invitational but a player of his calibre will be looking to get back into the top 50 as soon as possible in order to play in the biggest tournaments.

Predicted Performance
Although Lowry is showing minimal good form of late, his move to the states and past results throughout his career suggest this could be a stronger season compared to last year. This style of courses and conditions could be the ideal place to record a strong finish – expect a top 15 placing.

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