AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – Round Four Preview
11th Feb 2018 by Sam Vickers
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
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 and clear with cloud cover later in the day, low/high (45/57F – 10/15C), winds W/WNW 3-14mph
What channel is it on? Sky Sports Golf or Golf Channel / CBS
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’ and ‘CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App’
Are tickets still available? www.attpbgolf.com
Round One Predictions? Dustin Johnson – T1, Phil Mickelson – T9, Shane Lowry – T16, Gary Woodland – MC, Rory McIlroy – MC,
Round Two Predictions? Paul Casey – T13, Jimmy Walker – T41, Brandan Grace – T50, Matt Kuchar – T60, Graeme McDowell – MC
Round Three Predictions? Jason Day – T3, John Rahm – T5, Russell Henley – T16, Nick Watney – T50, Rory McIlroy - MC
FIVE PLAYERS IN FOCUS
- The Australian moved up two spots to T3 after a three under par 69 around Pebble Beach Golf Links and sits just two strokes behind the leaders.
- Day’s form this week is mainly due to a very hot putter where he gained 3.611 strokes over the field yesterday and is averaging 1.639 putts per green this week (ranked seventh).
- Day is ranked third for the week in birdies made (17) but it is his tee-to-green game that is letting him down thus far, ranking 88th and losing 0.303 strokes on the field.
Only the very best players in the game can grind out scores when not firing on all cylinders and this is exactly what Day is doing, thanks mainly to his putting. With winds set to increase later in the afternoon, going out in the second to last pairing will require better ball control if he is to claim back-to-back victories.
- Johnson once again heads into the final round with a great chance of claiming his third victory here and second of the season thanks to a two under par 70 taking him to 14 under for the week.
- After seven holes of his third round, Johnson was 16 under par. However, a two over back nine in tougher conditions brought him back to the field, highlighting just how tough Pebble Beach Golf Links can play in the right conditions.
- As the world’s best golfer, Johnson seemingly puts himself into contention more often than not. Johnson did not rank inside the top 30 for any of the main strokes-gained categories yesterday and still shares the lead with one round to play.
Johnson has already held the third round lead once this season and failed to win which is perhaps something that may help in this situation. If the American turns-up with 70% of his all-round game, it is highly unlikely anyone in the field will be catching him. Nevertheless, the tougher conditions will make for a tight back nine.
- Veteran Stricker plays a limited schedule on the PGA Tour these days, mixing his time between the main tour and the PGA Tour Champions (seniors). Stricker is making just his second start of the season and second since August 2017 on either tour.
- Stricker currently places T5 after a two under par 70 around Pebble Beach Golf Links, just three strokes off the lead.
- Although Stricker has a limited schedule on both tours, he still racked up four top fives and a top 10 finish from eight starts on the Tour Champions as well as two top 10s and six top 25s on the PGA Tour, showing he still has the game to compete at 50 years old.
Striker has made just four bogeys all week (ranked T5) and if he can maintain this kind of consistency during Sunday, he has a real chance of contending over the back nine. A first win since 2012 seems unlikely but a top five finish – which would be a great result – is a very strong possibility.
- Scotland’s Knox moved up a mammoth 54 places after a bogey free, five under par 67 around Pebble Beach Golf Links, positioning him in T16.
- Since his two victory season in 2016 which resulted in him finishing second in the season ending FedEx Cup standings, Knox has significantly fallen down the world rankings to 83rd.
- Knox ranks 143rd in SG: around-the-green this season but gained 1.468 shots on the field yesterday in this category, a 1.590 improvement on his season and an area that he will need to keep progressing with.
All departments of Knox’s game are in a good enough place to return back to his 2016 form but it is his short game that he needs to maintain his consistency with. In tougher conditions today, where missing the smaller greens in likely, this department will need to be equally as good if he is to continue moving up the leaderboard – expect a third top 10 finish of the season.
- Snedeker has recorded two victories (2012 & 2014) here and holds the lowest winning score of 22 under par. Additionally, he finished in fourth place here last year, demonstrating his liking for Pebble Beach.
- Snedeker moved up 29 places into a T41 after a three under par 69 around Pebble Beach Golf Links.
- His form is slowly returning following an injury lay-off last season after recording his first top 25 finish of the season at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. He ranks 10th in SG: around-the-green and 19th SG: putting for the season and during yesterday’s round he gained 0.782 strokes off-the-tee, gaining 0.864 strokes on his season which has been the main weakness off his game this year.
Snedeker is progressively regaining his all-round game to the levels that we know he is capable of. Expect him to continue his move up the leaderboard and record his best finish of the season so far.
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