PGA Tour Picks: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

By Tom LaMarre

Phil Mickelson missed the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week for the first time in 30 years to play in the Saudi International on the European Tour, but he is back for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am that starts Thursday.

And why not, since Lefty claimed his fifth title at Pebble Beach Golf Links, his 13th in California and the 44th of his PGA Tour there last year by three strokes over Paul Casey of England in a Monday finish caused by what they call “Crosby Weather” on the Monterey Peninsula.

Mickelson didn’t always feel that way about the old Bing Crosby Clambake, skipping the tournament in 1993 and 1994 after missing the cut at Pebble Beach in the 1992 U.S. Open, but he’s been a fixture ever since.

“I don’t know I had a good big picture of the overall importance of the tournament to the game and what it provides and how much I love the place,” said Mickelson, who tied Mark O’Meara’s AT&T record with that fifth title.

“ … I have such great memories here. I would love to add to it. You really don’t need to hit a lot of drivers (at Pebble Beach). So it gives me a chance that … lessens my weakness, which is hitting fairways.”

Mickelson also has family history going for him at Pebble, because his grandfather, Al Santos, who grew up in Monterey, dropped out of school in the fourth grade to help support his family and became a caddie at Pebble Beach.

Lefty has added to that legacy by winning at Pebble in 1998, 2005, 2007, 2012 and last year.

Mickelson missed the cut in his first two tournaments on the PGA Tour in 2020, but rebounded by finishing in a tie for third last week in Saudi International behind winner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who claimed his first European Tour victory in six years, and Dustin Johnson.

“I haven’t been my best this last year since I won Pebble a year ago, and I’m excited to go back there next week with a little bit of momentum,” Mickelson said on Sunday after closing with a 3-under-par 67, his third round in the 60s to go with a 70 in round two.

“I feel like I have been playing well, but yet I haven’t had the results. I missed a couple of cuts and this week I really started to put things together, and it’s a great to build off of. I’ve had a good week.”

McDowell, who captured the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and the fifth-ranked Johnson, who took a three-stroke lead to the final round of that tournament only to close with an 82 to tie for sixth, also have made the long flight back and are playing at Pebble this week.

Other top names in the field include Casey, eighth-ranked Patrick Cantlay, Jason Day of Australia, Jordan Spieth, Branden Grace of South Africa, Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes, Brandt Snedeker, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Kisner, Russell Knox of Scotland, Cameron Champ, Kevin Na, Chez Reavie and Pat Perez.

In the tournament that has been played on the Monterey Peninsula since 1947, each golfer will play one round each with an amateur partner at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club before the cut is made, and the last round will be played entirely at Pebble.

Johnson and Snedeker each have won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am twice, while other former champions playing this week include Spieth, Vaughn Taylor and Ted Potter Jr.

But Mickelson has won at Pebble almost as many times as all of them combined.


  1. Dustin Johnson, United States – DJ, No. 5 in the world, is back on track after arthroscopic knee surgery, as he tied for seventh in the Sentry TOC and finished solo second last week in the Saudi International. He makes his 13th start in the AT&T Pebble Beach, winning in 2009 and 2010, and placing second twice among eight top-10 results.
  2. Patrick Cantlay, United States – The eighth-ranked Cantlay tied for ninth in his first start in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2013, but has done no better than a tie for 35th in 2017 since, opening with a 66 in each of those years. He opened the new year by finishing solo fourth in the Sentry TOC after posting a solo second in the Shriners earlier.
  3. Jason Day, Australia – Although he has never won at Pebble Beach, Day has posted six results in the top 10 including the last three years in a row, in his 10 previous start in the AT&T Pro-Am. His best finish was a tie for second, three strokes behind winner Ted Potter Jr., two years ago. Won the The Challenge: Japan Skins in November before tying for 22nd in the Zozo Championship, and tying for 16th in the Farmers in first 2020 event.
  4. Phil Mickelson, United States – Won for a record fifth time in 23 starts in the Pebble Beach event last year in addition to finishing second and third three times each. Also tied for fourth in 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble. Mickelson missed the cut in his first two PGA Tour events of 2020, but tied for third last week in Saudi International on the Euro Tour.
  5. Paul Casey, England – Led going to the final round at Pebble last year before shooting 71 to finish second, three shots behind Phil Mickelson, after tying for eighth in 2018.Casey tied for 19th in the Sentry TOC and tied for 21st in The American Express in his first two starts of the new year after a tie for 17th in Zozo Championship in November.
  6. Brandt Snedeker, United States – A winner Pebble Beach in 2013 and 2015, in addition to a solo fourth three years ago, Sneds has claimed four on his nine PGA Tour victories in California. He also tied for eighth in the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble. He missed the cut last week in the Phoenix, but tied for third a week earlier in the Farmers.
  7. Matt Kuchar, United States – Kooch makes his 14th start in the AT&T Pebble Beach, with his best finish a tie for sixth in 2007 among but three results in the top 25, including a tie for 22nd last year. Tied for fourth in the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble. Claimed 16th pro victory in Singapore Open two weeks ago and flew back to tie for 16th in Phoenix.
  8. J.B. Holmes, United States – Held the lead midway through the Phoenix Open before fading with a 75 on Sunday to tie for 16th, exactly where he finished a week earlier in the Farmers Insurance Open. Holmes is making his 14th start in the AT&T Pebble Beach and he finished one shot behind winner Dustin Johnson in 2010 among six top-25 finishes.
  9. Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland – G-Mac claimed his 14th pro victory last week in the Saudi International, with the biggest win coming in the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also tied for fourth in the Sony Open in Hawaii last month. In six starts in the AT&T, McDowell’s best results were solo eighth in 2005 and a tie for seventh in 2014.
  10. Branden Grace, South Africa — After winning the South African Open and tying for third in the Alfred Dunhill Championship recently on the Euro Tour, Grace tied for sixth last week in Phoenix, his first PGA Tour event of the year. He tied for 20th in first start in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two years ago and returned to tie for 28th a year ago.

OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH: Ted Potter Jr., United States; Matthew Fitzpatrick, England; Jordan Spieth, United States; Russell Knox, Scotland; Kevin Kisner, United States; Scott Piercy, United States; Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thailand; Kevin Na, United States; Alex Noren, Sweden.


  1. Max Homa, United StatesShowing that his win in 2019 Wells Fargo Was no fluke, Homa finished T-6 in Phoenix and T-9 in Farmers. Recorded a T-10 last year at Pebble.
  2. Viktor Hovland, Norway – Won 2018 U.S. Amateur and tied for 12th in the U.S. Open last year, both at Pebble Beach. Best finish this season was T-10 at the Greenbrier.
  3. Sung Kang, South KoreaSet AT&T record by shooting 60 at Monterey Peninsula CC in 2016 while finishing T-17, and was T-14 last year. Has three top-25s this season.
  4. Patrick Rodgers, United States – Played not far away at Stanford and posted a T-8 at Pebble Beach two years ago. T-9 in Farmers and T16 at Phoenix in his last two starts.
  5. Maverick McNealy, United StatesAnother former Stanford star, was solo 15th at Farmers, T-17 in Houston. Shot 74-70-70, 2-under, but missed the cut last year in AT&T.

For first-round tee times, visit

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