DJ, Day, Kooch, Lefty Lead Field at Pebble

By Tom LaMarre

It’s still the West Coast Swing, so once again much of the talk going into the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will be about Phil Mickelson, who has won the tournament four times among his 19 victories in California and Arizona.

It will be his 23rd appearance in the tournament, where the first three rounds will be played on Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Shore Course, before the final round will be contested strictly at Pebble.

Lefty, whose last title in the old Crosby Clambake came in 2012, obviously knows the course like the back of his hand but will be making early mental notes for June, when he will try to complete the Career Grand Slam in the U.S. Open’s return to Pebble Beach.

Third-ranked Dustin Johnson, who won in 2009 and 2010 at Pebble in addition to finishing in a tie for second in 2014 and last year, has made the long trip back from the Middle East after claiming the Saudi International on Sunday with birdies on the last two holes.

DJ also had one of the great fails of his career at Pebble Beach when he took a three-stroke lead to the final round of the 2010 U.S. Open, but closed with an ugly 82 to slide all the way to a tie for eighth.

Other former champions in the field include defending champion Ted Potter Jr., Jordan Spieth (2017), Brandt Snedeker (2013, 2015), Vaughn Taylor (2016), Jimmy Walker (2014), D.A. Points (2011), Davis Love III (2001, 2003) and Vijay Singh (2004).

Notably missing is Tiger Woods, who in 2000 at Pebble captured both this tournament and the U.S. Open, the latter by a record 15 strokes.

Also in the field this time are Jason Day of Australia, Tommy Fleetwood of England, Matt Kuchar, Tony Finau, Adam Scott of Australia, Patrick Reed, long-hitting rookie Cameron Champ, Martin Laird of Scotland, Stewart Cink and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who stepped up and won the U.S. Open when Johnson faltered in 2010.

Among those in the pro-am field are perennial crowd favorite Bill Murray; hockey great Wayne Gretzky; country music stars Toby Keith, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker and Colt Ford; actors Andy Garcia, Greg Kinnear and Michael Pena; singer Huey Lewis; comedian Ray Romano; surfer Kelly Slater; quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and retired Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys, plus wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, who claimed the pro-am title last year alongside Kevin Streelman.

Pebble Beach Golf Links, on a site that has been called “the greatest meeting of land and sea” in the world, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

“If I only had one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach,” said Jack Nicklaus, who won the 1961 U.S. Amateur, 1972 U.S. Open and three Bing Crosby Pro-Ams on the fabled course.

The Golden Bear certainly is not alone.



  1. Dustin Johnson, United States – DJ’s biggest problem this week might be jet lag, as he made the flight back from the Middle East after winning the Saudi International. He won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2009 and 2009 in addition to finishing second in 2014, but blew a three-shot lead on Sunday in the 2010 U.S. Open and tied for eighth shooting 82.
  2. Jason Day, Australia – The Aussie recorded his best result at Pebble when he tied for second last year, and also tied for fourth in 2015, tied for fifth in 2017, and was solo sixth in 2008 and 2013. So far this season, Day has fourth straight top-15 finishes, including ties for fifth on both the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges and the Farmers Insurance Open.
  3. Matt Kuchar, United States – Kooch does not have an impressive record at Pebble Beach, with a tie for sixth in 2007 his only top-10 finish, but he is off to the best start of his career this season. He won the Mayakoba Golf Classic and the Sony Open in Hawaii, in addition to tying for fourth last week in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
  4. Tommy Fleetwood, England – It’s Fleetwood’s first look at Pebble and he’s probably making his tournament debut because the U.S. Open will be played there in June. He was second in our national championship last year and fourth in 2017. His best results this season are ties for seventh in the Turkish Airlines Open and the WGC-HSBC Champions.
  5. Phil Mickelson, United States – Lefty, coming off a missed cut in Phoenix, won at Pebble in 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2012, and also finished second in 2016 and last year. With another victory, he will tie Mark O’Meara for the most in tournament history. Will be back at Pebble in June for the U.S. Open, trying to complete the Career Grand Slam.
  6. Jordan Spieth, United States – The 2017 Pebble Beach champion by four shots, Spieth is trying to find his game after two missed cuts and a tie for 35th following a strong start (65) in the Farmers Insurance Open. Spieth has never finished outside the top 25 in six starts at Pebble, including a tie for fourth in 2014 and a tie for seventh the next year.
  7. Adam Scott, Australia – It seems Scott has finally come to grips with the ban of his anchored putter as he finished second in the Farmers Insurance Open, tied for 10th in the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges and tied for 18th in the WGC-HSBC Champions. Has played in the AT&T twice, tying for 52nd in 2010 and missing the cut when he returned last year.
  8. Brandt Snedeker, United States – Sneds captured two of his nine PGA Tour titles at Pebble Beach, in 2013 and 2015, and also finished fourth there two years ago. He has had some solid results this season, tying for second in the Safeway Open, tying for 16th at the Sony Open in Hawaii and tying for 22nd in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
  9. Shane Lowry, Ireland – Making his season debut on the PGA Tour, Lowry is coming off a victory in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that lifted him to the top of the Race to Dubai standings on the European Tour. His best result in the AT&T was a tie for 14th in 2017, but the Irishman should thrive in the cold, wet Winter weather at Pebble.
  10. Ted Potter, United States – The defending champion, Potter beat DJ, Day, Lefty and Chez Reavie by three strokes last year, thanks to a 62 in round two. The southpaw is off to respectable start in the new season with a tie for 14th in the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, a tie for 13th in the Sony Open in Hawaii and a tie for 27th in the Sentry TOC.


  1. Harold Varner III, United States – Varner finished T6 at Mayakoba, T10 in Phoenix, T14 in the Safeway Open, T15 in the Shriners, T18 in the Desert Classic this season.
  2. Sungjae Im, South Korea – The 20-year-old wound up T4 in the Safeway Open, T7 in the Phoenix Open and T12 in the Desert Classic on the PGA Tour this season.
  3. Andrew Landry, United States – Still virtually unknown despite winning the Valero Texas Open last year, Landry finished T22 in the Sentry TOC, T28 in the Desert Classic.
  4. Patrick Rodgers, United States – Stanford grad tied for eighth in his debut at Pebble last year. Finished second in RSM Classic and was T14 at Sanderson Farms this season.
  5. Doug Ghim, United States – The rookie from Texas posted a T20 at the Farmers two weeks ago, then was T3 in the Bogota Championship on the Tour last week.

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