An A-List Event
This week, the Tour welcomes stars whose fame came from outside the ropes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Headlining the celebrity field are Justin Timberlake, Mark Wahlberg, country star Jake Owen and of course, Bushwood C.C. Assistant Greenskeeper, Carl Spackler.
Red-hot Brandt Snedeker is back to defend his record-setting 2015 title but will face stiff competition as 6 of the world’s top 10 players will be present. Jordan Spieth is back in the states and looking to add his second title of the year. Last year, Spieth finished T6th. Bubba Watson and Justin Rose were late additions due to their celebrity partners, Timberlake and Owen, who convinced the pros to add the AT&T to their schedules.
The views that draw them in
While the allure of playing with the world’s rich and famous is great, the real reason this event draws such a stellar field year in and year out is the picturesque backdrop of Pebble Beach. America’s most distinguishable course hosts Sunday’s final round, while Thursday-Saturday play rotates between Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and the Monterey Peninsula Club’s South Course.
Hardboiled picks to click
Stat of the week:
Master of the Poa. Anyone familiar with California golf understands the trials and tribulations that Poa Annua grass (found on courses such as Torrey Pines, Riviera and this week’s trio) can cause players on the greens. Over the past 3 years, only 6 players have seen their strokes gained putting statistic increase by greater than 1 shot when putting on poa versus non-poa greens. For these players, this equates to about a 4 shot advantage over their normal putting round due to the majority of players’ struggle on this surface.
Stud: Dustin Johnson
DraftKings Salary: $11,400
Big Dusty’s historically shaky putting is unusually stable on Poa Annua as he sees a 1.23 strokes gained per round putting uptick compared to other surfaces. The long-hitter also has a track record of success at the event, registering top 4s in the past 2 editions as well as the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach before his first major championship meltdown….
Sleeper: Bryce Molder
DraftKings Salary: $7,700
Molder comes in hot after last week’s 6th place finish in Phoenix that saw him flirt with contending in Sunday’s final round. The Georgia Tech grad has played well in the last couple AT&T’s, registering a 12th in ‘15, a 10th in ‘14 and 34th in ‘13. Much like Dusty, Molder’s putting gets better on Poa Annua, saving 1.10 strokes on the surface compared to others.
Saving himself for Tiger
This week, ESPN sat down with Tiger’s bag man, Joe LaCava, to discuss Tiger and LaCava’s future. The legendary looper LaCava has been offered new jobs by a number of pros but has stayed true to Tiger. LaCava feels that when Tiger comes back, he will regain his winning ways of the past. When that return could be remains a mystery.
Europe heads back to South Africa
The end of the European Tour’s Desert Swing signals a quick break for most of its elite players, yielding an opportunity for some of the Tour’s up-and-comers to shine at this week’s Tshwane Open in South Africa. This week’s event is headlined by established South Africans Charl Schwartzel and George Coetzee, as well as youngsters Brandon Stone and Haydn Porteus.
Spieth’s winning recipe
We at the fried egg are proud to welcome a new contributor, “Big Day” Grabs. Grabs is an avid golf fan sporting a sub-five handicap and a distinct set of hammer hands on the green. In his inaugural post, Grabs dives into how much of Jordan Spieth’s success comes from the off-the-course stability his team has built around him.
This week’s workout focuses on increasing your t-spine rotation. By increasing your ability to rotate, you will increase your speed in your swing leading to longer, more consistent drives.
A day with Paige Spiranac.
Colsaerts pulls off a Tin Cup-esque shot from his hotel room.
Tour still undecided on Trump’s Doral.
Unexpected consequences of the Zika Virus.