Welcome to the 2019 US Open Golf Picks and Pro-Tip
News and Notes
Pebble Beach also hosts the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am each year so it’s a familiar stop for many tour pros and plays as a Par 72 at 6816 yards long making it the shortest course on tour in par adjusted distance. The fairways are expected to be narrowed this week with a cut to 50 percent narrower fairways than the Pro-Am stop and long rough both in the primary and secondary cut which should make it considerably more difficult. Additionally, the crew has selectively trimmed certain run off areas adding more exposure to the hazards around Pebble Beach. On some holes where rough prevented balls from running into the Pacific Ocean, players will now be penalized for those misses and precision will be demanded both off the tee and on approach to Pebble’s notoriously small greens.
Pebble Beach is a coastal links course which is exposed to the wind. The current forecast has sustained winds 5-10mph with gusts in the mid-teens so while not dead still and allowing people to fire at pins fearlessly the winds don’t look unreasonable either. There are no noticeable wave splits but for Showdown each day looks like conditions will be slightly harder in the afternoon, and to add to that POA greens allegedly become more difficult as the day goes on. Consider making small AM tee time boosts for Showdown contests in our optimizer.
Course History and Course Fit
One of the challenges this week is how to leverage course history or make course fit assessments given that the course most routinely hosts ProAm events with much easier scoring conditions. While the USGA can’t change the length too much they’ve certainly made the course more challenging as noted above. The table below shows the deviation in scoring for individual strokes gained categories at the AT&T ProAm and in that format the event saw more deviation in scoring driven from strokes gained putting (SGP) and off the tee (OTT) than a typical tour event.
While the narrower fairways could provide more room for accurate players to gain strokes it seems like the added difficulty still will benefit those who are dialed in on approach and with the putter. The greens and fairways will both be extremely challenging to hit making this an event where accuracy could be as large of a role as distance.
This will be the sixth time that Pebble Beach has hosted the US Open, making it the 4th most frequent venue for the US Open. The previous US Open winners at Pebble Beach include Graeme McDowell (2010), Tiger Woods (2000), Tom Kite (1992), Tom Watson (1982), and Jack Nicklaus (1972).
DataGolf has a course history tool that helps track which players have performed best here relative to their baselines. Some of these players include Tiger Woods who has average 0.14 strokes above his baseline at this event, Dustin Johnson (+0.12), Brandt Snedeker (+0.11) and Graeme McDowell (+0.10) who won the most recent event here. Treating this at face value these players could warrant 1-2 DK point boosts to their projections. “US Open History” seems largely irrelevant this week as Pebble should play shorter and is a unique venue.