Three Course Rotation in Pebble Beach, California
Pebble Beach Golf Links (Host): 6,816 yards – Par 72 – Poa annua Greens – Two Rounds
Green Sizes: 3,500 square feet… Tiny Greens
Difficulty since 2010 (Relative to Par): -0.09 … Average
Spyglass Hill Golf Course: 6,953 yards – Par 72 – Poa annua Greens – One Round
Green Sizes: 5,000 square feet… Small greens
Difficulty since 2010 (Relative to Par): +0.24… Average; Hardest of three courses this week
Monterey Peninsula CC (Shore Course): 6,958 yards – Par 72 – Poa annua – One Round
Green Sizes: 6,000 square feet… Smaller than average greens
Difficulty since 2010 (Relative to Par): -0.46… Easier than Average; Easiest of three courses this week
OWGR Strength of Field Rating: ~270 … Weaker than Average
Fairway Difficulty: 69.6% … Easy Fairways to Hit
GIR Difficulty: 65.6% … Average GIR Difficulty
2016: Vaughn Taylor -17 over Phil Mickelson -16
2015: Brandt Snedeker -22 over Nick Watney -19
2014: Jimmy Walker -12 over Dustin Johnson, Jim Renner -11
2013: Brandt Snedeker -21 over Chris Kirk -19
2012: Phil Mickelson -19 over Charlie Wi -17
2011: D.A. Points -17 over Hunter Mahan -15
2010: Dustin Johnson -18 over David Duval, J.B. Holmes -17
2016: Phil Mickelson -16
2015: Jim Furyk -18
2014: Jimmy Walker -14
2013: Brandt Snedeker, James Hahn -14
2012: Charlie Wi -17
2011: Steve Marino -14
2010: Dustin Johnson, Paul Goydos -20
2016: Hiroshi Iwata, Sung Kang -11
2015: Matt Jones, Brandt Snedeker -12
2014: Jordan Spieth -10
2013: Brandt Snedeker, Ted Potter Jr. -10
2012: Charlie Wi -14
2011: Steve Marino -13
2010: Dustin Johnson, J.B. Holmes, Paul Goydos, Bryce Molder, Alex Cejka -12
Important Interview Quotes
Q. What is it about this place and this course that really seems to bring the best out of your game?
JIMMY WALKER: You got to hit proper golf shots around here and it rewards shot making. I think you got to fight the winds and you got to fight the downhills and you really got to have control of your golf ball and you got to use your imagination. -2016
Q. What is it about the courses though? What about the courses suit your game?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think, first of all, the setting is spectacular. But the greens being poa annua are what I grew up on, so it’s a grass I feel comfortable. Not just putting on, but chipping on, chipping into and hitting full shots into. It can be challenging for guys if they’re not used to it. It’s something that I’ve become very comfortable with over the years. -2016
Q. You have great memories of this place from 2003, 2004. Talk about good comfort zone here playing this place?
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, these kind of greens are the kind of greens I grew up on, the poa annua greens. Like you said, good memories. Played well here in the past. You kind of get to know it, like I was saying, it’s one of those courses where at least for me, if you know where certain pins are, if you can miss it in the right spots. Obviously if you’re playing well, hitting it good, it doesn’t matter. But if you can kind of miss in the correct spots it makes it significantly easier to get a ball up-and-down or hit a green. -2016
Q. Lastly, playing Pebble tomorrow, your thoughts on that golf course and potentially having another low one there.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think the three golf courses here actually suit my game quite a lot. So, hopefully, I can go out there and hit it the same as today and get the putts rolling in again. -2016
Q. What’s the strength of your game?
CAMERON SMITH: Probably putting and putting and the irons all the way down, I would say. Distance, definitely no. -2016
Q. Some comments on your round today?
I feel very, very comfortable ball striking. I just couldn’t get it in the hole. I’ve struggled putting here at Monterrey Peninsula the past few years. The hardest greens to putt, in my opinion, because they’re the softest. I had a couple putts today that I pretty much started walking in from eight to 10 feet, and then they just kind of dive off or bounce off and lip out. It just happens. Sometimes they go in and you think they might miss, sometimes they miss when they’re good putts on poa annua. It doesn’t matter where you are. -2016
Q. Given the conditions, would you have seen that (11-under from Sung Kang)?
JUSTIN ROSE: No, I knew that myself in this round of golf, I knew that if I saw them going in early it would be important. But I, unfortunately, got on to that wrong side where you started to maybe see the imperfection and it is all about attitude sometimes on poa annua.
But also making smart reads. I think if you try to hit the firm inside left edge putt, it doesn’t take much for it to bounce off line. Your speed needs to be perfect to capture the width of the hole. And then you’re going to make putts. -2016
Q. How did you hook up with Fluff?
SUNG KANG: Oh, yeah, I had some hard time with my old caddie, so after the Farmers Insurance Open we split up. And then I asked one of my buddies named Steve Hulka. Steve told me Mike might be available because Jim just had a surgery, he might be off for couple months.
So I’m like, yeah, I want to try Fluff. I might be able to learn something because he’s been doing this for like 40 years. So, and then, so, Steve actually called Mike and then Mike said okay. Okay, that’s it, we’re going. It was pretty simple. -2016
Q. And then switching gears a little bit, it’s the year anniversary, obviously, of you getting engaged here at Pebble Beach. Some thoughts about that and then I heard you took some engagement photos?
MARK HUBBARD: Yeah, we did engagement photos yesterday, so we’re going to be sending out invitations and stuff coming up. But I guess all I can really say is 18 played a lot easier yesterday than it did a year ago. -2016
Q. And then, lastly, do you have a lot of people following this week, because you’re kind of a local guy, you grew up an hour away from here?
MARK HUBBARD: Went to school an hour away. I grew up in Denver, but, yeah, I got a couple teammates, couple old friends and family always comes out to this one. They usually pick the nice weeks like Monterey to come out. I don’t see them much when we play in like Nebraska or something. But, yeah, I got a lot of people out. So it’s always a fun week. -2016
Q. 4-under today, you had a little bit of a delay. That throws you off a little bit, but good day for you? Talk about your round today.
ROBERTO CASTRO: I don’t have a great history with MPCC. We don’t have a real friendly relationship, until this year. Yeah, I felt like I played better. -2016
Q. In terms of tomorrow, playing back at Pebble. I’m sure you’re excited to be if not in one of the final groups, top two or three groups, I would think.
ROBERTO CASTRO: Yeah, that’s my favorite golf course in the world. So every I come here, if the weather’s good, bad, I’m just like, grind, because I want to play on Sunday. I just want to play another round at Pebble. So I’m going to enjoy it. I love it over there. -2016
Q. What’s so similar about it? Just kind of the layout the trees? [After Blixt said these courses reminded him of Hammaro, a course he grew up playing]
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, it’s a tree-lined golf course and we have, I would say, three or four holes that are kind of open. So it’s kind of like here. The first four or five holes are open and down here and then it goes into the trees. You don’t really see any of the other holes as you’re playing it.
It’s kind of the same thing here. It’s quite tight. It’s a very solid golf course. It’s not super long like this one, but it’s — the technical level of it, it’s there. You just got to make sure your ball is in play. Not necessarily the rough is too bad, like here, but you can always kind of save yourself. But it’s very close. It’s a big resemblance to where I grew up on. -2016
Q. What is it about this place? You’re a past champion, what is it with about the Monterey Peninsula that you love so much?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: I love the greens here, I love the golf courses, the greens are poa annua, which I’m a big fan of. And I love the format. I have played the last four years with a good friend. -2015
Q. What is it here at the Country Club that you like so much? This course.
CHESSON HADLEY: Here? Oh, it’s just an awesome old school golf course. The greens are really old poa annua and the course is, it kind of has, almost has a slight links feel to it. Pebble Beach is my favorite, that’s my favorite course ever, but this course is in awesome shape and like I said, the weather is, this is as good as it gets in golf. -2015
Q. So Spyglass is typically one of the tougher courses out here. Tell me about the importance of playing well out there?
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, it’s obviously very important. I saw somebody say this yesterday, Nobody’s won here since Tiger did shooting over par over there. So you need to go over there and play, shoot a good round and anything in the 60s is a great round. Especially with the conditions the way I had today. I mean it’s no wind whatsoever. -2015
Q. Where are you playing tomorrow?
CHARLIE BELJAN: Spyglass, which is my favorite course out of all the courses we play on TOUR. So I’m looking forward to it. -2015
Q. A lot of people don’t like playing Spyglass because it’s tough.
DUSTIN JOHNSON: This is one of my favorites. Here and Pebble. I mean I love all the courses up here, but I just?? I’ll always enjoy playing here at Spyglass. It’s fantastic. -2014
Q. A little bit of a provincial question, but to win at Fry’s and play here well the last few years and then obviously be here in this position, what is it about northern California that seems to suit you?
JIMMY WALKER: I don’t know. I like the golf courses. They’re, they just seem to kind of fit my eye. And I talked kind a little bit about that yesterday. Guys seem to play well at golf courses, because it fits their eye and you like the golf course and the shots and you feel like you can read the greens and the ball does what you want it to do when you’re on the greens. You feel like you can make putts.
So that happens, I think it happens for everybody. You get into these little grooves in places and you feel comfortable and you like them and the ball kind of goes in the hole for you. And I know that ?? I’ve heard veterans talk about that they made the bulk of their money in certain places in the year and stuff like that. So I think guys get comfortable in spots. -2014
All quotes from ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.
The entire field will play each course once over the first three days and the Top 60 and ties will play on Sunday at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
2014: Lift, clean, and place utilized in all four rounds due to wet conditions.