AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am - Wrap Up
I’m sure many that love a bet on the golf have felt before that you should create some parameters to narrow down your selections but then do totally the opposite. That would have been helpful this week!!
Almost comical to look back on the tips column and see “The only solid gold rule I’m making this week is back Americans. From the last 57 winners 54 have been American and that’s good enough for me to swerve Fitzpatrick at 13, Hovland at 14 and Power at 26.” Couple this with a four year win drought and I present to you last week’s winner: Justin Rose!
After what must have been a very long and nerve wracking night in the middle of round 4 sitting two clear, Rose posted a very solid -3 for the back 9 with no bogeys and a couple of putts that snuck in to give the feeling that it was his day. A final round -6 after starting with a bogey puts rose back in the winner’s circle after missing the cut more times than making it in the 19/20, 20/21 and 21/22 seasons.
A player of his calibre should never have fallen off a cliff the way he did after the 18/19 season (1 missed cut, 16 made cuts) but many put this down to wholesale equipment changes. If Rose has turned the corner and can find form anywhere near his previous best then he will compete for more titles, of that there is no doubt. Number 1 in the world, US Open champion, Olympic gold medalist, T2 in the Open and the Masters and T3 in the PGA Championship underscore his talent.
As for my calls for the week, Denny McCarthy was my closest contender finishing T4 and 4 behind Rose’s -18. With 10 birdies (and 2 bogeys) in a final round 64 (-8) he gave it a good go but the holes ran out on Monday with two very costly bogeys on 13 and 14 taking the steam out of his challenge after he sat at the top of the leaderboard thanks to a front 9 29 (-7). Like Rose, McCarthy started -3, -3 but an even par 71 in the third round punished him despite the great finish. On shorter tracks that reward a great putter I’ll be looking at him closely in the next few weeks as he feels due a win.
Jordan Spieth never got going and made as many mistakes as birdies ending the week even par. Rounds 3 and 4 were particularly bad at a combined +4, including 2 doubles and 4 bogeys. It very much feels like this year will be a couple of wins out of absolutely nowhere for Jordan, with some good and some very average golf thrown in as well. Not great for those that like backing consistent performers!
Scott Stallings made the top 20 and was looking very strong after an opening 67 (-5) which included 2 bogeys but an over par third round put him well off the pace. Stallings is another player that will be on my radar in the coming weeks - he really has a go, always plays with confidence and although that can produce some mistakes it also gives a great chance of capitalising on a hot week.
We’re now -£900 on the season and Super Bowl weekend in Arizona alongside the WM Phoenix Open will hopefully produce a touchdown to reduce the deficit!