Defending champ Jordan Spieth comes to Pebble fighting putter

Defending champ Jordan Spieth comes to Pebble fighting putter

Reid Spencer Publisher
image (Metro Golf Magazines File Photo)
Defending champ Jordan Spieth comes to Pebble Beach after a rare missed cut at Phoenix.

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, held annually at one of America’s most revered golf courses, headlines a full slate of men’s events in professional golf this week.

Jack Nicklaus, who won the 1972 U.S. Open at the scenic course on the Monterrey Peninsula—with an unforgettable 1-iron shot that hit the flagstick on the par-3 17th holes and stopped inches from the cup—once said that, if he had one final round of golf to play, Pebble Beach would be his first choice of courses.

Coming off an uncharacteristic missed cut at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, Jordan Spieth will try to defend his title, if he can get a balky putter to cooperate. The top three players in the world—No. 1 Dustin Johnson, No. 2 Jon Rahm and No. 3 Spieth—are all in the field at Pebble.

Showing good form on the European Tour after his return from a rib injury, Rory McIlroy will make his season debut on the PGA Tour on the AT&T.

The European Tour moves to Perth, Australia, this week, where the final round of the ISPS Hand World Super 6 will feature six-hole matches among the top 24 players after 54 holes.

The PGA Tour Champions returns to the U.S. mainland for the Boca Raton (Fla.) Championship, and the Tour moves from Panama to South America for the Club Colombia Championship, where Ethan Tracy is the defending champion.



Site: Pebble Beach, Calif.

Courses: Pebble Beach GL (Yardage: 6,816. Par: 72); Spyglass Hill (Yardage: 6,953. Par: 72); Monterey Peninsula (Yardage: 6,958. Par: 71).

Purse: $7.4 million. Winner's share: $1,332,000.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 2-3:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 4-7 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel); 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

Defending champion: Jordan Spieth.

Last week: Gary Woodland won the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

FedEx Cup leader: Patton Kizzire.

Notes: Rory McIlroy makes his PGA Tour season debut and his first appearance at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. ... This is the second tournament of the year that features the top three players in the world — Dustin Johnson (above), Jon Rahm and Spieth. ... The field features at least one major champion from every year dating to 2000 (Vijay Singh). Also playing is David Duval (2001 British Open), Mike Weir (2003 Masters) and Angel Cabrera (2007 U.S. Open, 2009 Masters). ... Phil Mickelson, a three-time Pebble winner, is playing for the 23rd time. The only year he missed since 1994 was in 2015, when his children were on spring break. ... Adam Scott is playing for the first time since 2010, the year Pebble Beach hosted the U.S. Open. ... Peter Jacobsen is playing for the first time in 10 years. He won at Pebble Beach in 1995. ... The PGA Tour has gone four consecutive weeks with a sudden-death playoff. Pebble Beach hasn't had a playoff since 2008, when Steve Lowery defeated Singh.

Next week: Genesis Open.





Site: Perth, Australia.

Course: Lake Karrinyup CC. Yardage: 7,143. Par: 72.

Purse: A$1.75 million.

Television: Wednesday-Friday, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Brett Rumford.

Last week: Shubhankar Sharma (left) won the Maybank Championship.

Race to Dubai leader: Shubhankar Sharma.

Notes: The tournament features 54 holes of stroke play, and then 24-man, six-hole match plays on Sunday. ... Sharma is the only two-time winner on the European Tour this year. ... Tyrrell Hatton on England is the only player from the top 20 in the world who is playing. ... The field includes Lee Westwood, former Masters champion Danny Willett and Thorbjorn Olesen. ... Robert Allenby, Nick O'Hern and Peter Lonard are part of the Australian contingent. ... Chase Koepka, the younger brother of U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, is playing. ... Rumford last year led after each round of stroke play and was medalist by five shots. He won the final match, 2 and 1, over Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai. ... The European Tour next returns to the Middle East for two events in Oman and Qatar.

Next week: NBO Oman Golf Classic.





Site: Boca Raton, Fla.

Course: The Old Course at Broken Sound. Yardage: 6,807. Par: 72.

Purse: $1.6 million. Winner's share: $240,000.

Television: Friday, noon-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 3-5 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Scott McCarron (left).

Last tournament: Jerry Kelly won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

Notes: The PGA Tour Champions is on the U.S. mainland for the first time this year. ... Coming off his season-opening victory in Hawaii, Kelly is skipping this week to play on the PGA Tour in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am. ... McCarron won at Boca Raton last year with a 6-foot eagle putt on the final hole for a one-shot victory. That was the first of his four victories in 2017. ... Bernhard Langer won this event in 2010 and was runner-up in 2013. ... The tournament has been decided by a playoff or by one shot in all but two years since it began in 2007. ... No one has won the Boca Raton Championship more than once. ... Billy Andrade lost in a playoff in 2015 and tied for fourth at Boca Raton last year.

Next week: Chubb Classic.





Site: Bogota, Colombia.

Course: Bogota CC. Yardage: 7,237. Par: 71.

Purse: $700,000. Winner's share: $126,000.

Television: None.

Defending champion: Ethan Tracy.

Last week: Scott Langley won the Panama Championship.

Next tournament: El Bosque Mexico Championships on March 8-11.




Last tournament: Brittany Lincicome won the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Next week: ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.





Sunshine Tour: Eye of Africa PGA Championship, Eye of Africa Signature Golf Estate, Johannesburg. Defending champion: Erik van Rooyen. Online:


Ladies European Tour: Canberra Classic, Royal Canberra GC, Canberra, Australia. Defending champion: New tournament. Online:

The Associated Press contributed the tournament capsules in this story.

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