The famous Pebble Beach Golf Links have hosted the U.S. Open on six occasions and will host four more national opens over the next two decades.
It is a major championship layout.
And yet, whenever the PGA Tour heads to the Monterey Peninsula every year for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the event feels anything but.
That changes this year, thanks to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am carrying “Signature Event” status. Ten of the top 11 players in the world are in the field this week, as are the top 50 players from last year’s FedEx Cup standings.
“The fact that it’s an elevated event, I’m extremely excited about the idea that you could have three to eight guys who are top-10, top-15 in the world coming down the stretch at Pebble Beach regardless of the conditions… that would be very exciting to watch,” said Jordan Spieth Wednesday.
“Other than the U.S. Open, that hasn’t really been possible in this event, so I think the field this week will make it possibly the best AT&T yet. I’m incredibly excited about that.”
Many of the game’s top players have skipped this tournament in prior years due to scheduling conflicts.
Most have opted for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines the week before, while others would rather play at the Waste Management Phoenix Open the following week.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am typically includes hundreds of amateur golfers who slow down the pace of play and clog up three golf courses. Many pros do not have the patience to withstand that, hence why so many skipped this event originally known as the “Crosby Clambake.” Still, 80 amateur players will play this week, but only for the first 36 holes.
“Honestly, it has a little less Bing Crosby to it,” Spieth admitted.
“It was fun and unique in the way that it was, but it has the feel of being closer to a major championship… Without the entertainment stuff, it certainly has a different feel off the course. On the course, I’m playing practice rounds with guys who played the U.S. Open here [in 2019], and that’s the last time they were here, and it’s pretty cool to see them out here.”
“It feels like a major, and off the course, it feels a little less like the old Bing Crosby that it is.”
Spieth won the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and has made the cut at this event 11-of-11 times. He has six top-10 finishes at Pebble Beach, a course he has routinely called one of his favorites in the world.
But now he has to play against a much stronger field, something the three-time major champion welcomes.
“It has this feel to it because of who I’m walking around the locker room with, who I am on the driving range with, and on the course seeing, and who I’m playing practice rounds with,” Spieth said.
“It’s a top field, and it’s very cool to see that.”
Spieth will begin his first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Spyglass Hill on Thursday alongside good friend Justin Thomas. They tee off at 12:57 p.m. ET.