Draw and Fades has a new name – Golfbet Insider. (See my timeline below.) In his first appearance this week, Webb Simpson, Kevin Kisner, and Jimmy Walker will be among the characters reviewed.
In this way, we made it to the final championship of the season contested across multiple courses. Back in the RSM Classic that concluded the fall portion of 2022-23, four events have spilled over into additional stages, including each of the final three. Daylight hours are not plentiful at these northern hemisphere latitudes during this corner of the year, so facilities are necessary to save playing time for those with fully exempt status. With alumni of the deeper Korn Ferry Tour on the brink of entry until the fields are maximized in May, these playing opportunities are invaluable and necessary.
All 156 players on the Monterey Peninsula this week will have one crack at the home course and each of its two colts – Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course. Pebble and Spy are 72 stock values, while MPCC is a 71 with five 3s and four 5’s. Nine each is a 34 and a 37.
Once three rounds are complete, the Low 60 and Ties schedule will be snapped to advance to play the Final Round in Pebble, but the Low 65 and Ties will receive FedExCup Points and Official Prize Money. So, for anyone who finished 61st through 65th, it will be marked “MDF,” which stands for “Made cut, Didn’t Finish.” The cut is unique in this tournament. Plus, pro teams who are exactly 25 down after three rounds will eventually make it even if the pro misses the cut in individual competition.
Anytime the weather cooperates with this tournament, it can feel like a buried burial ground, because the alternative has been anticipation as often as it does for the Open Championship and Florida Swing afternoons. Fortunately (!), the risk of rain has been reduced to Thursday night (maybe even Friday morning) and Sunday. Daytime highs may not touch 60 degrees all day.
Wind is also a prominent concern, naturally and naturally. This applies everywhere, but with a three-course rotation, when a Pebble competitor is set in a breeze, they’ll feel it a little more than the other two-thirds of the field where they’re located. Considering only the first three days, the winds are expected to be stronger in the opening round on Thursday, but the field scoring average should still outperform the par.
Last year’s clip for all four rides on the Pebble was 70.756, but the average over the first three days with fair weather was a little lower. A spy clocked it as high as 72.179, which was unexpected for what is often the most challenging of tracks in benign conditions. The average MPCC was 70.104, so it’s ranked in the middle of the three relative to the average.
All 54 greens are equipped with Poa annua and can get close to 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. The basic rough is limited to two inches so amateurs can enjoy themselves. Some work has been done on the inside side at Pebble, most notably on the left side of the touchdown zone on the par-4 15th hole, but the only change in length on any hole occurred on the par-3 7th at the MPCC. Not having played more than 203 yards this week, it was reduced by 23 yards. The MPCC remains the shortest course of the trio at 6,934 yards. Pebble tips out at 6,972 yards, while Spy can extend out to 7,041 yards.
AT&T’s top 10 will line up for entry to the WM Phoenix Open next week. While the annual designated class only lands within the entry cutoffs in Arizona, since WM is event specific this season, the top ten class may be closed. If there is any, the top ten exemption will be pushed to the next Open, which is the Honda Classic on February 23-26.
So, it has the potential to be a touching week for KFT alumni specifically. tThe Heirs class will be rearranged for the second time this season At the conclusion of The Genesis Invitational, many won’t play near the bottom on the PGA Tour again until the Puerto Rico Open on March 2-5.
Note: ShotLink is only used at Pebble Beach.
Rob Bolton schedule
Rob Bolton of PGATOUR.com summarizes and previews each tournament from many perspectives. Look for his next contributions as scheduled.
Monday: strength ratings
Wednesday: Golfbet Insider
Sunday: Payments & Points, Medical Extras, Qualifications, Reshuffle, Rookie/Non-Premium Member Ranking
* – Rob is on the PGATOUR.COM Experts’ Anthology panel for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, also published on Tuesdays.