February 13, 2017
Jordan Spieth soaked up every step of scenery on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach, one of the prettiest places in golf and even more spectacular on a Sunday when the only work left is to hoist the crystal trophy.
All that was missing from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am were the highlights.
That's just how Spieth wanted it.
Staked to a six-shot lead, Spieth never gave anyone much of a chance by putting for birdie on all but one hole. The lone highlight was his 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, and by then it was already over.
''Played a lot of boring golf today,'' Spieth said, ''which was exactly what we needed.''
He closed with a 2-under 70 for a four-shot victory over former U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft, a close friend from Dallas who couldn't get a putt to fall that might have put a little pressure on Spieth.
As easy and clinical as Spieth made it look, it was no less special.
''This is a bucket-list place to win - here, Augusta National, St. Andrews, there's only a few in the world. It feels really special. It was amazing walking up the 18th green knowing that we were going to win. It's just such a unique position. I tried to soak in.''
It was his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour since the Masters, where he lost a five-shot lead on the back nine. On this day, Spieth thought back to the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and the way Tiger Woods closed out his record 15-shot victory by trying not to drop a shot in the final round. Woods didn't make a bogey over the final 26 holes in severe conditions. On a course saturated by rain, Spieth played the final 28 holes without a bogey. His longest par putt Sunday was 5 feet.
''That's a dream round when you're leading by a bunch,'' Spieth said.
The 23-year-old Texan won for the ninth time in his PGA Tour and became the first player since Woods with that many victories before turning 24. Woods won 15 times. Equally impressive is that Spieth won for the fifth time by at least three shots.
''He didn't have his best stuff, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do and played a great round of golf,'' said Brandt Snedeker, a two-time Pebble winner who played in the final group with Spieth and shot 70 to finish fourth. ''Sometimes those are the hardest rounds of golf, when you have the lead that he had. It was fun to watch him do his thing out there.''
Kraft, who closed with a 67, settled for a couple of consolation prizes. The $777,600 for second place was nearly double his earnings from his rookie season last year. He also earned a spot at Riviera next week in the Genesis Open.
U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson closed with a 68 to finish alone in third, enough to have a chance to reach No. 1 next week if he were to win.
Spieth's only other birdie was on the par-5 second when he two-putted from 12 feet.
One day after he took only 23 putts on the bumpy greens of Pebble Beach, he didn't make hard anything, and didn't look to be trying to make them from above the hole to avoid putting himself in a position to drop shots.
No one could put any pressure on him over the opening seven holes, which is where rallies begin at Pebble Beach.
If there was a key shot for Spieth, it came on the eighth hole. He tugged his tee shot into the wet rough to the left, facing a 210-yard shot over the ocean and into the breeze to one of the toughest greens at Pebble. It came out perfectly, 20 feet from the cup for another routine par.
''I was very, very excited once that ball landed on the green,'' Spieth said. ''That was really avoiding a big number there. That could have been a double or triple very, very easily, if that doesn't come out the right way. So that was the shot of the day for me.''
Spieth became the seventh straight PGA Tour winner in his 20s, and he got back into the hunt for No. 1. He had fallen far enough behind that even by beating a strong field at Pebble Beach, it will not move him from No. 6.
Jason Day, the world No. 1, bounced back from his 75 on Saturday with a 67 to tie for fifth with Gary Woodland (65) and Torrey Pines winner Jon Rahm (68).
Spieth has four top 10s in his four starts this year and already appears to be peaking as the Masters gets closer. He has shot under par in all 16 rounds he has played this year, 17 in a row dating to the Tour Championship last fall.
The only disappointment for Spieth was not winning the pro-am with country singer Jake Owen. They tied for third, four shots behind Ken Duke and Carson Daly.
February 12, 2017
Jordan Spieth fired eight birdies in a seven-under par 65 to seize a six-shot lead after three rounds of the weather-disrupted US PGA Tour Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Spieth, in a three-way tie for the lead with world number one Jason Day and Derek Fathauer when the second round concluded early Saturday, pulled inexorably away with a sparkling effort at Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of three courses in use over the first three rounds of the tournament.
The two-time major champion, seeking his first PGA title of 2017, opened with back to back birdies. His only bogey of the round, at the eighth, was followed by three birdies in a row at the ninth, 10th and 11th.
Having picked up another shot at 15, he rolled in a 16-footer for birdie at the par-three 17th, and left himself inches for a birdie at 18.
"I couldn't have asked for a better putting day, with greens that are poa annua and have a lot of traffic because they have been so soft with this weather, it's very difficult even to make a putt from four feet," said Spieth, whose 17-under par total of 198 put him six in front of American Brandt Snedeker, who carded a five-under 67 at Pebble Beach.
It was a further stroke back to two-time winner Dustin Johnson and unheralded Kelly Kraft, Americans who posted 65s for 205.
World number one Day made a disastrous start to the third round with three bogeys and a double bogey in his first six holes at Pebble Beach.
He finished on a stronger note with three of his five birdies in his last four holes -- but not before his card was marred by another double bogey at his 14th hole of the day, Pebble's par-three fifth.
Day signed for a three-over 75 that left him 10 off the pace.
"It was kind of a tough one for me out there," Day said. "It was just a mistake after mistake on the front side for me and unfortunately, that's sometimes how it goes. To be honest, I just kept on making silly errors and mistakes out there.
"But, you know what, I think with how I played on the back side, I feel good about going into tomorrow and trying to build momentum for next week's tournament."
Spieth said his most satisfying putt of the day wasn't even for birdie, but to save par at the 12th.
"I knew what the putt was doing, but it's one of those kind of left-to-right that you've got to go outside the hole and you don't really want to ... and I trusted the line and it went right in the dead center."
Despite Spieth's big cushion, Snedeker -- a two-time winner at Pebble Beach -- thought he could put challenge him on Sunday.
"The front nine will be huge tomorrow, the first seven holes, I've got to go out there and make some birdies and put some pressure on him," he said. "If you don't get the first seven holes at Pebble, you're going to have a long day, so I know what I have to do."
February 11, 2017
Jordan Spieth delivered a putting masterclass on the way to setting the clubhouse lead in the weather-hit Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Friday before second-round play was suspended due to thick fog on the Monterey Peninsula in California.
The world number six fired a seven-under-par 65 at Spyglass Hill, one of three venues being used for this week's PGA Tour event, to post a 10-under total of 133 before play was halted with only 33 players back in the clubhouse.
Derek Fathauer was also at 10 under but had one hole to play at Pebble Beach while Australian world number one Jason Day was at nine-under with six holes remaining at Spyglass Hill.
Organizers were trying to get the tournament back on track after the opening round, which suspended on Thursday because of heavy rain, was finally completed mid-morning on Friday.
However, fog then delayed the scheduled start of round two before later forcing play to be suspended for the day at 4:21 p.m. PST (2121 GMT). The second round is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, with sunny weather forecast for the rest of the weekend.
February 10, 2017
Former world number one Jordan Spieth was one off the pace with two holes to play Thursday when first-round play was suspended in the weather-whipped Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Eighty-one players had yet to complete the opening round when play was halted for the day on the Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula courses.
The wind was whipping at Pebble Beach and heavy, steady rain had rendered all three courses unplayable.
South Korea's Noh Seung-Yul and Americans Joel Dahmen and Rick Lamb all made it into the clubhouse on four-under par.
Noh -- seeking a second USPGA Tour title to go with the Zurich Classic of New Orleans crown he captured in 2014 -- had the only bogey-free round of the day.
He carded a 68 at Spyglass Hill, as did Lamb and Dahmen.
Spieth was three-under through 16 holes at Monterey Peninsula, where had notched five birdies and two bogeys.
Players will return to complete their rounds on Friday morning, with the start of the second round to follow.
When play was suspended, the more sheltered Spyglass had the lowest scoring average at 1.24 strokes over par, followed by Monterey Peninsula (1.84) and Pebble Beach (2.46).
Australia's world number one Jason Day put together a two-under par 69 at Monterey Peninsula that included four birdies and two bogeys.
With tee times moved up an hour in a bid to avoid the worst of the weather, Day said his group played only four holes in the rain.
However, he said, "the wind was pretty stiff".
"I think the hardest part about today was to commit to a shot," Day said of the difficulties posed by the weather.
"Commitment was huge."
|T23||USA||J. B. Holmes||-6||-||70||75||69||67||281|
|T39||USA||D. A. Points||-4||-||72||73||69||69||283|
|MDF||USA||J. T. Poston||-1||-||-||74||67||-||141|
|MDF||USA||Rich Berberian Jr||-1||-||73||72||70||-||215|
|CUT||USA||J. J. Spaun||Par||-||76||68||72||-||216|
|CUT||-||K. J. Choi||2||-||74||71||73||-||218|
|CUT||RSA||Tyrone van Aswegen||2||-||71||70||77||-||218|
|CUT||TPE||Cheng Tsung Pan||4||-||77||73||70||-||220|
|CUT||USA||Billy Hurley III||6||-||72||73||77||-||222|
|CUT||ZIM||Brendon de Jonge||7||-||78||72||73||-||223|
|RET||USA||J. J. Henry||12||-||84||-||-||-||84|