Monday, February 4, 2013

2013 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am Preview and Predictions

The 2013 PGA Tour season moves back to the Pacific Coast this week to famed Pebble Beach for the 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am.  The tournament features 3 of the best courses in the world, in the Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and the Monterey Peninsula Shore Course.  Each course measures in at less than 6900 yards, but ocean vistas and spectacular views await the players at each hole.

TV and Radio Schedule
Thursday, February 7th: 3:00-6:00 PM ET The Golf Channel
Friday, February 8th: 3:00-6:00 PM ET The Golf Channel
Saturday, February 9th: 1:00-2:30 PM ET The Golf Channel; 3:00-6:00 PM ET CBS
Sunday, February 10th: 1:00-2:30 PM ET The Golf Channel; 3:00-6:00 PM ET CBS

Radio: Sirius XM PGA Tour Network:12-6p ET Thur-Sat; 1-7p ET Sun

In the Field
Another one of the big draws on the PGA Tour, the AT&T once again does not disappoint in its field.  Numerous top players will make their way to Pebble Beach to play on one of the favorite courses in the world.

Players to Watch
Phil Mickelson: The defending champion returns to Pebble Beach off one of his best performances in years.  A dominating win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open will propel Mickelson to the top of the leaderboard once again this year at the AT&T.  Mickelson fired a final-round 62 en route to the victory here last year.

Dustin Johnson: A perennial favorite at Pebble Beach, Johnson will be looking to become the first 2 time winner on the PGA Tour this season.  After a solid win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Johnson has not played his best golf in subsequent tournaments.  But a return to the site of some of his PGA Tour victories should give him momentum this week.

Jim Furyk: Furyk makes his 2013 PGA Tour debut this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National pro-am.  A solid, yet disappointing 2012 season is now behind him, so Furyk will look to get a win in 2013.  Hopefully his putting woes are solved and he will not blow any more leads on Sunday.

Hunter Mahan: Mahan had another solid week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but will look to get his first top-10 finish in 2013.  Mahan would love to earn a few victories and wrap up a spot on the 2013 Presidents Cup team to avoid another snub via captain's pick.

Padraig Harrington: The three-time major champion seems to be coming around with his game.  Harrington finished T9 last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in his 2013 PGA Tour debut.  His ball striking and swing seemed to be back to the level it was during his dominant stretch in 2007 and 2008.

Webb Simpson: The 2012 US Open champion will look to jumpstart his 2013 season, which has been lackluster so far.  He would love to get off to a fast start and get an early win in 2013.

Brandt Snedeker: One can only come so close so many times before finally getting the win.  Snedeker has finished in the top 10 in each of his starts on tour this year, competing for the win each time.  If one or two more putts fall for the PGA Tour's best putter, he should be unstoppable this week at Pebble Beach.

Lee Westwood: Finally taking up full PGA Tour status, Westwood is playing in his first tour event in 2013.  He finished in the top 10 in Dubai last week, so if he adjusts to the time difference, he should have a solid finish here.

The Course
Pebble Beach is one of the best known golf courses in the world.  Playing in at under 6900 yards, it uses more than length to challenge the players.  Tour players also enjoy playing at Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Shore Course

Holes to Watch
Pebble Beach boasts many of the most recognizable holes in the game of golf.

Hole 6: One of the best par-5s in the game, Hole 6 boasts a downhill tee shot to a narrow fairway, followed by a huge uphill shot to a blind green.  Players who hit a driver will be able to reach the green here in two and have a shot at eagle.

Hole 7: The shortest hole in major championship history, Hole 7 can play with anything from a wedge to a five iron depending on the wind.  It may be one of the top-3 recognizable par-3 holes in the world.

Hole 8: A dual-fairwayed hole, the 8th hole features a blind tee shot to a narrow fairway.  Players will be hitting iron or fairway metal to reach the landing area.  The second shot is one of the most scenic shots in golf.  Players will be firing at a small green over a cliff and water.

Hole 14: The longest par-5 on the course is rarely reachable in two by any players.  A layup will give the players a solid chance at hitting the shot close and give them a chance for birdie.

Hole 18: One of the best finishing holes in golf, hole 18 is a reachable par 5 in which the tee shot plays over the ocean.  Players who find the fairway will be able to easily reach the green in two and have an eagle opportunity, but the water brings high numbers in to play.

I have to go with Brandt Snedeker this week.  He has shown the ability to close down the stretch in seasons past, but has run into players dominating the field each week he has played.  This week, I forsee Snedeker trouncing the field and winning for the first time in 2013.  Snedeker has blossomed into one of the best players in the world, and will move up in the world ranking after this week.  Mickelson and Dustin Johnson will be right near the top as well. 

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