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2013 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Discussion Thread


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This week's AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is one of the coolest spectacles in sports, top pros playing with celebs but the main attraction might be one of the most recognizable course in the world, Pebble Beach.  Here's a closer look at the 14th hole, the toughest par 5 on tour.

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Rare is the par 5 that ranks among the week’s toughest at any PGA TOUR stop. The 14th at Pebble Beach Golf Links, though, has wrecked enough scorecards over the years to set off a yellow light inside even the game’s best.

“You can make a big number,” said Dustin Johnson, a two-time AT&T; Pebble Beach National Pro-Am winner who has experienced both sides of the coin. “It's a tough par 5. You'll make a lot of birdies on it, but you can make a lot of big numbers on it, too.”

In three of the past five years, the 14th has ranked as the TOUR’s toughest par 5. In 2010, it stood as No.1 and No.2.

That anomaly came courtesy of the U.S. Open, when No.14 gave up just 50 birdies and 196 bogeys or worse to rank sixth among all holes that year. In its regular February slot, the hole played nearly a third of a shot easier -- and still ranked No.2 among par 5s.

That was the year four pros walked off the 14th green with a “9” on Sunday of the pro-am. One of them was Paul Goydos, who until then had been dueling Johnson for the crown.

Goydos held a one-stroke lead before watching his low-drawing 7-iron touch down short of its target and roll down the green’s front slope. When his ball finally found the cup, he was three strokes behind Johnson.

At 581 yards and with a small, tilted putting surface, pros rarely attempt to reach the green in two. A well-placed bunker threatens to catch drives cutting too much of the right-bending dogleg. The fairway then climbs toward the green, protected by a deep bunker on the front left.

The green rises to an upper tier where pins are most often located, with balls short and right trickling back down the slope. Another slope awaits shots long or left of the green. David Duval once called that upper tier “possibly the smallest target in golf.”

Said Goydos: “You're trying to stop a pitching wedge on a moving school bus.”

It’s not impossible, though, as D.A. Points showed two years ago. His gap wedge just cleared the bunker, checked its speed and slithered into the hole for an eagle that proved a springboard to his first PGA TOUR victory.

Even then, Points was preaching caution.

“You're trying to hit it on such a small little tabletop,” he said. “It's just a treacherous shot.”

Some notable pairings , yep Dustin Johnson is playing with Wayne Gretzky

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Dustin Johnson-Wayne Gretzky, Pat Perez-Michael Lund (9:06 a.m. Thursday at Monterey Peninsula, 8:22 a.m. Friday at Spyglass Hill off 10, 9:50 a.m. Saturday at Pebble Beach):

Here’s hoping they’re mic’d for sound during the first three rounds. Johnson, of course, is a two-time winner of this event, and he’s already found the winner’s circle this year, at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. But this pairing is interesting for more reasons than that. Johnson has been dating Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina, for a few months, and their relationship has been very, um, public on social-media sites. Meet the Parents … at Pebble!

Jason Day-Jim Harbaugh, Matt Bettencourt-Matt Cain (8:22 a.m. MP, 10:01 SH off 10, 9:06 a.m. PB):

It’ll be interesting to see Harbaugh’s emotional stability after a wild loss Sunday in the Super Bowl (and to his brother, no less). Belichick played here last year, just a few days after a stunning loss in the Big Game, so it seems Pebble Beach is a popular landing spot for the brokenhearted. Cain, meanwhile, should have plenty of support from the local fans. The San Francisco pitcher threw a perfect game last year and led the Giants to another World Series title.

John Mallinger-Andy Roddick, Jerry Kelly-Aaron Rodgers (9:39 a.m. MP, 8:55 a.m. SH off 10, 8 a.m. PB):

Two of the best athletes in the field – and, thankfully, in the same group. Roddick retired from tennis last September, so he’s had plenty of time to work on his game. Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were bounced from the playoffs on Jan. 12, which could still be a sore subject for fellow Wisconsinite Kelly.

Ricky Barnes-Bill Belichick, James Driscoll-Brian Kelly (8:44 a.m. MP, 8 a.m. SH, 9:28 a.m. PB):

The Hoodie and Kelly will have plenty to talk about, after both of their teams fell short of hoisting a championship. Get ready to see a lot of these guys on the telecast, even when they aren’t discussing X’s and O’s.

Joe Ogilvie-Randall Stephenson, Jason Bohn-Condoleezza Rice (8:22 a.m. PB, 10:01 a.m. MP off 10, 9:06 a.m. SH):

Being grouped with the former Secretary of State has to be an ideal group for Ogilvie, who has been a longtime member of the Player Advisory Council and who could, one day, be named PGA Tour commissioner.

Phil Mickelson-Skip McGee, Rod Pampling-Charles Schwab (9:39 a.m. MP, 9:06 a.m. SH off 10, 8:11 a.m. PB):

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Mickelson, the defending champion here and last week’s winner in Phoenix. Lefty shot a final-round 64 here last year to roar past fellow playing competitor Tiger Woods and win by three shots over Charlie Wi .

And I'll just share various pics FB friends of mine have posted from the tournament

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Greetings ..... It appears that only David Duval and John Daly are taking advantage of one of Pebble Beach's special invitational categories, which is any pre-2000 winner of the Pebble Beach event itself, as well as any pre-2000 winner of the Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA Championship or Players Championship. Duval was the 1999 Players champion, while Daly won the 1991 PGA and 1995 British Open. [URL=http://www.attpbgolf.com/players]Players in AT&T; Pebble Beach Field[/URL] [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Pebble_Beach_National_Pro-Am]Wikipedia Page for AT&T; Pebble Beach Pro-Am[/URL] -- includes mention of Pebble Beach's special invitational categories. As mentioned by Chilli Dipper above, the field of professionals teeing it up this week is not very strong. This is confirmed by the large group of lower-ranking pros (based on 2012 Official Money List standings) who are playing. As the tournament is classified as an invitational, there is no open qualifying, but there are 16 available sponsor invite spots rather than the norm of eight. It's also a reasonable bet that because many top-ranked players are not in the field, graduates of the Web.Com Tour and Q-School are getting chances to play. Of course, there are now only 156 available spots for the pros (plus 156 for amateurs) in this event. Up through the year 2009, 180 pros (and 180 amateurs) had teed it up every year. The change in field size was made to strengthen the field, speed up play and to attract more top players. Thanx-A-Lot, Frank-0-Sport
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I love this golf tournament, probably it's because this is the only golf tournament I have been to.  Me, my brother (golfingdad) and our parents went probably 20 years ago when they were playing it at Pebble, Spyglass, and Poppy Hills.  Having the celebrities there along side of the pros was awesome.  We sat down at the now non-existent par 3 (I believe it was hole 5) at Pebble and watched every group come through, blah, blah, memories. One of my crazy dreams is to play in this tournament and have golfingdad be on my bag.

Not sure if he is here at this tournament, but I'm picking Snedeker.

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Originally Posted by gwlee7

Will not watch any of this until Sunday.


Oh c'mon. The celebrity part is very cool. Any chance to see Pebble is worthwhile by the way.

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Originally Posted by gwlee7

Will not watch any of this until Sunday.

Originally Posted by iacas

Seconded.

Originally Posted by MSchott

Oh c'mon. The celebrity part is very cool. Any chance to see Pebble is worthwhile by the way.

It is a lot of fun in person ... but on TV, I kind of agree with them that it's not terribly exciting to watch anybody (famous or otherwise) suck at golf.  Don't mind watching Tono Romo, because he's good, but that's about the end of it.

Of course, I'm obsessed so I'll watch anyway ... but I would prefer a lot less of the celebrities.  Just show me pros and the courses, and I'm happy.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Wow, Pings new clubs really look different. ;)  I will pick Hunter to miss the cut if he plays with those.

It's their new Vintage line. The USGA absolutely loves them!

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Was Clint talking to a chair?

As long as they don't show Chris Berman, I am fine with watching the amateurs!  His swing makes my back hurt.

It is going to snow from Friday morning to Saturday night here in Boston.  I think I will watch as much of it as possible.  We are going to get 18-24" per the latest forecast!!!

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I agree. I think if it's your first time watching it whether on TV or in person, it can be entertaining. But year after year, you'll notice it's always the same people that they show in the broadcasts - Berman, Andy Garcia, Ray Romano, and especially Bill Murray. I don't watch this tourney much until Sunday because I the broadcasts usually include more of the real competition than celebs. Last year, it helped that Tiger and Phil were in the same group. But I'd rather avoid watching SwingVisions of celeb golfers showing us how NOT to swing a golf club.

Originally Posted by RonTheSavage

I feel the celebs get in the way here. If I wanna watch celebs I'll wait for the Tahoe Tournament.

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