Pebble Beach, California, one of the most famous golf courses in the world, hosts the 2019 U.S Open Golf Championships – the sixth time it has hosted the U.S Open – the last time coming in 2010 when Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell won by a shot over Frenchman Gregory Havret, posting an Even total of 284 across the four rounds.
This years renewal starts on Thursday June 13th with defending champion and current World Number 1 Brooks Koepka (above) looking to win his second consecutive Major and third successive U.S Open title – only one person in history has ever achieved this, when Willie Anderson won the 1903, 1904 and 1905 titles.
PEBBLE BEACH – THE COURSE
Pebble Beach is a stunningly beautiful course that runs along the Pacific Ocean coastline – with many holes literally guarded by cliff edges with the ocean crashing into the rocky outcrops below the course. It is traditionally a tough course, with scores of a couple under par usually being good enough to win the tournament. Only Tiger Woods, in 2000, has ever broken 280 here in a Major (carding a -12 total of 272) when winning by 15 shots. The 18th hole (seen above) is arguably the greatest closing hole in golf…the ocean and a huge 100 yard bunker patrolling the left, with a tree slap in the middle of the fairway. The course totals 7,075 yards and plays to a par of 71.
So, who do we like to go well at Pebble Beach?
RORY McILROY (Northern Ireland)
Not the most ‘out there’ of selections, but we cannot ignore magical McIlroy, who tore the field to bits in last weekends Canadian Open, giving him – not that it was really needed – a huge boost in confidence and momentum as he seeks his fifth Major and second U.S Open title. He has not faired well at Pebble Beach in the past – but his power and accuracy off the tee, coupled with his superb form on the greens may just bail him out when his short game lets him down. If Rory does roar, he could just tame this course and blow his rivals away.
FRANCESCO MOLINARI (Italy)
Only a couple of horror holes in the last round at Augusta ruined any chance of Molinari adding the Masters to his Open Championship title he won in 2018 and will be defending at Royal Portrush in July. Molinari is super consistent from tee to green and Pebble Beach could be perfectly set up for the unassuming Italian. He has not been in the best of form since his choke at Augusta, but we like him to bounce back in style here and would not at all be surprised to see him in the hunt come Sunday afternoon.
TONY FINAU (USA)
There is the usual glut of Americans to choose from, all of whom have an outstanding chance of winning at Pebble Beach – but its Tony Finau that we like here. Finau doesn’t win often – usually finding one or two better than him – but he is too talented for that to continue, and there is no doubt he has the power and temperament to tame the course. He was also, like Molinari, in the final group at Augusta but couldn’t chase Tiger Woods down – but his consistency and good past record here is more than enough for us to select him with some confidence. Seems certain he will pick up a Major championship one day – this could just be his time.
U.S OPENS AT PEBBLE BEACH – PAST CHAMPIONS AND WINNING SCORES
- 1972 – Jack Nicklaus +2
- 1982 – Tom Watson -6
- 1992 – Tom Kite -6
- 2000 – Tiger Woods -12
- 2010 – Graeme McDowell Even