The AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am is one of the most popular tournaments on the PGA Tour circuit. With stars of stage and screen competing, the event always attracts large crowds. The tournament began life in the 1930s when Bing Crosby decided to give some of his golfing friends the chance to play with the top professionals by creating a pro-am event. The Second World War intervened but, in 1946, the competition was revived and it moved to its present home at Pebble Beach. Since then there have been some notable winners: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods amongst them.
The event is contested over three courses – the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Spyglass Hill and the famous links at Pebble Beach. The Shore Course has a par of 70 compared to 72 at the other two venues, that means the 72-hole par for the tournament will be 286.
Dustin Johnson has won this event two years in a row and he’ll be back looking to make it a hat-trick.
Among the celebrities playing in the Pro-Am section of the tournament are Kevin Costner, Oscar de la Hoya, Bill Murray and Kelly Slater.
Venue: Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula CC and Spyglass Hill, California
Date: Feb 10-13
Course stats: Pebble Beach – par 72, 6,816 yards; The Shore Course – par 70, 6,838 yards; Spyglass Hill – par 72, 6,833 yards
Purse: $6,300,000 Winner: $1,134,000
Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson (-16)
Thursday 10 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 11 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 12 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Sunday 13 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Dustin Johnson – It’s hard to look past the man who’s won this event two years on the spin. The big-hitting American has made a solid start to 2011 with two top-10s to his name already.
J.B Holmes – Another power player, Holmes was tied second in this event last year and is coming off a tied fifth finish last week in Phoenix.
Phil Mickelson – Three times a winner of this tournament, Mickelson was second in the Farmers Insurance Open and tied for 29th in Phoenix. He’s looking for his first PGA Tour victory since last year’s US Masters.
Key hole: 7th at Pebble Beach. Only 106 yards, the key to negotiating this hole is managing the wind. Some days it can be a flick with a sand wedge, others it’ll require a knocked-down 7-iron.
Skills required: Versatility. Players will have to contend with the different challenges posed by three courses as well as playing with amateur golfers.
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