Tournament: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, February 2-5, 2023
Course(s): Pebble Beach: Par 72, 6,972 yards; Spyglass Hill: Par 72, 7,041 yards; Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore): Par 71, 6,957 yards
Purse: $9 million in total, $1,620 million to the winner
Defending Champ: Tom Hoge. The proud TCU Hypno Toad broke out of a pack on the final day to top Jordan Spieth and a handful of others to claim his first PGA Tour title. That might be the last time TCU won something of significance.
Fun Fact: Pebble Beach is, of course, often the site for the US Open in addition to hosting this tournament since 1937 (other than a few years off for WWII). Only four golfers have won both tournaments on this course and it’s an impressive list: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, and Tiger Woods.
TV Times: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (CBS). With no football, CBS picks up coverage for the next few weeks before handing it over to NBC (while CBS does a little thing called March Madness). CBS picks it up again at the Masters for their run into the summer.
‘Dawgs in the Field: 4. Kevin Kisner, Keith Mitchell, Greyson Sigg, Brendon Todd.
The Bing Crosby Clambake returns for another year, and returns the celebrity pro-am format. Whereby each pro is paired with an amateur of varying degrees of fame for 3 rounds. They rotate across the 3 courses before a 54 hole cut is made to the top 60 pros and top 25 pro-am teams. The final round is played at Pebble.
The field is, in all honesty, sub par. Only one player in the field is ranked in the world top 10 - Matt Fitzpatrick. And only 3 in the top 20. The quirky format, playing with amateurs for 3 days which means slow play, and the upcoming schedule all attribute to this. Next week is the beginning of a 5 week run of more prestigious tournaments and much bigger purses. So players are resting up for that stretch.
Here’s a few of the famous people playing:
Noted Leesburg, GA youth sports star Buster Posey.
Possibly whining but definitely pouting Aaron Rodgers
Mormon church aficionado Steve Young
Apparently famous football player Gareth Bale, but I didn’t see him in the AFC or NFC Championship games.
Dodgeball color analyst Jason Bateman
Bill Murray, Ray Romano, and Alfonso Ribera will be competing like they always do. And Jim Nantz will probably have an uncomfortable interview with tournament host Clint Eastwood. But Jim doesn’t mind - he actually lives on the course.
The scenery is some of the best in golf even if the golf is some of the worst in golf. And CBS is contractually obligated to show some of the foolishness of the amateurs. So if you like rounds of golf slower than Stetson Bennett’s bail bondsman, this is your week. Enjoy, and as always...