The PGA TOUR returns to action Thursday in California for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The tournament is played on three courses: Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hills, and Monterey Peninsula Shore Course.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am hosts some of the biggest celebrities as well as the top names in golf. Similar to the Bob Hope Classic, the PGA TOUR will make the pin placements a little easier because there are amateurs in the field. This allows the players to "go low" the first few days, something they won't see at Pebble Beach when it hosts the US Open.
Five Players To Watch at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
I'm disappointed in the pairings this week so rather than give you my usual "Three Groups to Watch", I'm going to give my five players to watch.
1. Dustin Johnson has won the event the past two years and will look to make it three in a row when he tees off this Thursday. Johnson has played in three events this season and has two top 10 finishes. He loves playing here, hits the ball a long way and can get close with his wedges.
2. Phil Mickelson is a laid back guy who can do well in these conditions. Similar to Johnson, Phil hits the ball a long way and may have the best short game in the world. He's the highest ranked player in the field and has made the cut in both events he has played on TOUR in 2011. His best so far is 2nd place at the Farmers Insurance Open.
3. Mark Wilson is back in action after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Monday in a playoff. The hottest player on TOUR has two wins in three starts this season and shows no signs of slowing down. He's playing in the next seven events and his World Golf Ranking has jumped from 234 to 51. After going to Q-School 10 times, he now as his card through 2014 and I think this confidence will carry over to this week.
4. J.B. Holmes finished tied for second at this event in 2010 (with David Duval) and has looked good in 2011. He's made the cut in both starts and finished in a tie for fifth last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The 28 year old has not won since 2008 and this event gives him one of the best chances he will have all season.
5. Geoff Ogilvy did not start the 2011 season off on the right foot when he cut his finger and had to withdraw from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, an event he had won two straight years. In his first week back since the injury, Ogilvy looked good and managed to finish tied for 13th. He has won an tournament every year since 2008 and I don't expect him to stop in 2011.
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Celebrities
I said this while writing about the Bob Hope Classic earlier this year, I'm not a big celebrity guy. That being said, they are part of the event and here are a few names that stand out to me:
Bill Murray, Drew Brees, Bill Belichik (I'm curious to see if he smiles), Kevin Costner (Tin Cup) and Tony Romo.
I struggled a bit last week with the changes in schedule due to the weather but I'm hoping to rebound. I'm still riding my high from picking Bubba Watson to win the Farmers Insurance Open and he did.
Starting Lineup: Dustin Johnson (A), J.J. Henry (B), Hunter Mahan (B), J.B. Holmes (C)
On the Bench: Phil Mickelson (A), D.J. Trahan (B), Josh Teater (B), David Duval (C)
My ranking is 88th our of 1,261