AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – Round Three Preview
10th 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 but slightly cooler than first two days, low/high (50/59F – 10/15C), winds NW/WNW 5-14mph
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
Round One Predictions? Dustin Johnson – T1, Phil Mickelson – T5, Shane Lowry – T57, Gary Woodland – T69, Rory McIlroy – T87,
Round Two Predictions? Paul Casey – T13, Jimmy Walker - T18, Matt Kuchar - T18, Brandan Grace – T39, Graeme McDowell – T149
FIVE PLAYERS IN FOCUS
- Day recorded his first tour victory in nearly two years (March 2016) during his last tournament at the Farmers Insurance Open after a Monday play-off finish, a result which had been coming and something that will be the catalyst to a charge up the world rankings having moved back into the world’s top 10.
- After a six under 65 on Friday around Monterey Peninsula, Day moved into T5 position, just three strokes off the halfway lead. This tournament has been successful for Day in the past as he has finished T4, T11 and T5 during his last three starts.
- Day’s upturn in form can be put down to his driving ability, ranking sixth this season in SG: off-the-tee. Additionally, his putting - the main area of his game that took him to world number one previously - is starting to be at the level it was then, ranking 25th SG: putting.
The Australian has proved in the past he is one of the few players in the world who can win multiple events in a season and multiple times during a short period. His first victory in nearly two years will have provided him with the extra self-confidence that his game is back to the level he expects and back-to-back victories are a very strong possibility. Anticipate at least a top five finish.
- Rahm has once again move himself into contention after a second round five under 67 around Pebble Beach Golf Links.
- The world number two is just three strokes behind the player he is trying to overtake as world number one in which a showdown during Sunday's round is already looking like being on the cards.
- Rahm gained 2.249 strokes putting over the field on Friday, improving on his season total by 1.798. Rahm also finished T5 here last year even with a third round 75.
The Spaniard seemingly puts himself into contention week in, week out, which is the by-product of his all-round game. However, with him languishing in 131st SG: approach-the-green - a key area required for these smaller greens - another victory this week is unlikely but expect at least another top 10 finish.
- Henley moved himself into T23 after a second round two under 70 around Pebble Beach Golf Links.
- The American has three PGA Tour titles to his name since turning professional in 2011; there were all at venues where the conditions are often firm and windy, something that Pebble Beach will offer this week that will suit his game well.
- Henley is coming off the back of two missed cuts but is showing some good form this week. His success so far is down to his driving accuracy where he hit 92.86% of fairways on Friday and ranks 20th this season in this category. Although he currently ranks 94th in SG: putting, this has traditionally been an area of his game that is strong.
Henley knows how to contend and if he finds some form on the greens which he has shown in the past, a top 10 finish this week would be a good result.
- Watney is T39 heading into the weekend after a two under par 69 around Monterey Peninsula.
- Watney has shown good form here in recent years, recording a T14 last year and finishing runner-up in 2015 as well as a T6 back-in 2011. For a player who has recorded five PGA Tour victories, including a WGC, and finished fourth in the FedEx Cup rankings, the now world number 360 has significantly dropped from grace.
- The American produced his most consistent golf during this period of the season last year and is showing positive signs again after a T26 finish at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Watney has too much game not to move back up the world rankings and a good weekend around a place he enjoys could kick-start a better season. Expect him to slowly move-up the leaderboard and finish inside the top 25.
- McIlroy ended the day in T87 having dropped 71 places due to a three over par 74 around Monterey Peninsula.
- McIlroy was five under par for the tournament midway through his second round and in a great position to move further into contention through his back nine. However, a five putt double bogey at his 15th hole after driving the green, compounded by two subsequent dropped shots on his last two holes completely took him out of the tournament.
- Nevertheless, McIlroy is playing as good as ever tee-to-green where he is averaging 323.8 yards from-the-tee while hitting 81.48% of fairways in the process. He has averaged 72.22% greens-in-regulation this week.
If the Irishman can steady his putting and find some consistency on Saturday, a low score is out there for him around Pebble Beach Golf Links. Expect him to make the cut and go onto sneak a top 25 finish in the process.
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