Starstruck at Pebble Beach

Four days left to enter our sweeps for a chance to win a golf trip to Austin, TX for the Dell Match Play Golf Tournament, including airfare, a full golf bag fitting at Edel Golf, a $500 gift certificate for Criquet Shirts, a 2-night stay at South Congress Hotel and VIP tickets to Criquet's 19th Hole party.

Who would you bring? Share this with them to increase your luck!

The Tour heads to the Monterey Peninsula for the iconic Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The event draws a field of star-studded celebrity ams and PGA Tour stars. This year's headliners are defending champion Jordan Spieth, world number one-ranked Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. Full field

 10th hole at Pebble Beach Photo Credit: Zac Blair @z_blair

10th hole at Pebble Beach Photo Credit: Zac Blair @z_blair

Last year

Jordan Spieth picked up his first of three wins in 2017, coasting to a four-shot win over Kelly Kraft. Spieth opened the tournament with rounds of 68-65-65 and held a seven-shot lead heading into the final-round action at Pebble Beach. Besides Kelly Kraft, the 2017 leaderboard was stacked with stars. Dustin Johnson finished 3rd, followed by Brandt Snedeker in 4th and Gary Woodland, Jason Day and Jon Rahm in a tie for fifth.

The courses

The AT&T spans across three courses to accommodate the jumbo field and amateur playing partners. Like the CareerBuilder, the cut comes after three rounds. The pros will take on Pebble Beach twice as well as Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Shore Course and Spyglass Hill.

Pebble Beach is one of golf's most iconic venues, boasting a rich championship history. It is a fixture in the top golf courses open to public play and offers dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean and small greens that require precise iron play.

The Shore Course at MPCC was designed by the late great Mike Strantz. Many would consider the Shore Course the artistic and talented architect's masterpiece. Unlike the majority of courses on the peninsula, the Shore Course plays firm and fast thanks to fescue fairways. The bouncy course rewards great shots and has a tremendous stretch of oceanfront holes.

 The Monterey Peninsula C.C.'s Shore Course Photo Credit: Zac Blair @z_blair

The Monterey Peninsula C.C.'s Shore Course Photo Credit: Zac Blair @z_blair

Spyglass Hill remains one of the most difficult courses in golf. For the pros, it is a tameable test; for their amateur partners, it’s a bloodbath. The course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, is a perfect example of how the mentality of golf course design has shifted in recent years. Spyglass is hard, tight and littered with rough. Today's trends are width, fun and short grass. Rob Collins said it best in the first edition of Ask an Architect....

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Storylines

Spieth's putter

It's early in the season, but Jordan Spieth ranks an alarming 195th in SG: Putting. A far cry from his previous ranks of 20th ('14), 9th ('15), 2nd ('16) and 40th ('17). Expect this to turn around for a win soon.

Rory's first stint in the U.S.

Pebble will kick off a three-week stretch of golf for Rory McIlroy in the states. After starting the season with a t3rd at Abu Dhabi and a 2nd-place finish at the Dubai Desert Classic, McIlroy will look for his first win in the U.S. since the 2016 Tour Championship.

Last chance

The AT&T is the last event before the all-important PGA Tour reshuffle. For rookies and players without full status, it makes this week critical to locking up starts in the coming weeks and a card for the 2018-2019 season.

The off the course stars

The AT&T often gets criticized (I'm guilty) for fixating on the celebrities in the field during Saturday's coverage. In CBS' defense, it’s one week where golf really becomes popularized by the mainstream, and having iconic entertainment stars like Justin Timberlake and Bill Murray playing golf is great for the game. The coverage will certainly leave golf fanatics wanting less Larry the Cable Guy and more Spieth, but it could be worth it for the extra eyes on golf. Will Gray put together a summary of some notable celebrity handicaps.

Paulie's Picks

There are a few factors to weigh this week besides recent form and historical performance. Here's who Paulie likes for Draftkings and one and done leagues.

More from the Waste Management

Will Knights was on the ground in Scottsdale and put together a report on the event and how players attacked the short par-4 17th over the week.

Mailbag - part I

I dove into the first of a two-part mailbag, answering questions on golfing with hickories, Northern California courses, purchasing golf equipment and much more.

Down under in Perth

The European Tour heads back to Perth and beautiful Lake Karrinyup for the World Super 6. The event touts a fun and innovative format where the 156 player field plays stroke play with a 36-hole and 54-hole cut. The 54-hole cut is to 24 players who compete in 6-hole sudden death matches until a champion is crowned. Last year, Aussie Brett Rumford won both the medal and match play portion of the championship. More on the event in Perth.

A fresh podcast

Zac Blair and I are joined by golf course superintendent and historian Sean Tully. We discuss Northern California golf, Alister MacKenzie, technology, Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, robot mowers and much more. Listen to the podcast on iTunesStitcher or the website.

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Quick hooks

Sean Martin wrote a fantastic piece on Jordan Spieth and how he made it to the Tour.

The Web.com Tour makes their final start of February in Columbia.