PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- If you're looking for an early scouting report on what the leaders will encounter down the stretch at Pebble Beach, Bo Van Pelt reported a forecast of intermittent bumpiness and heart-pounding side slopes on those small greens.
"Wow, well, they're going to be looking at some very tricky putts," Van Pelt said after posting an early 3-under-par 68. "It's going to be decided pretty much on the greens with the putter."
It all starts, he said, with a nasty pin that is front-right at the long par-4 10th. The hole location at 12 is over the front-left bunker with the green running away from the tee. Good luck there. Thirteen is "borderline," Van Pelt said, with a hole on the left side on a nob. The 16th seems somewhat tame in the middle to back right area, but not so says Van Pelt. "There's a lot of slope, very tricky," he said.
Then comes the long par-3 17th, which he insists no one can hit in regulation anyway. "I haven't seen a ball stay there all week on that left side," he said. And it's tucked, too, just four paces from the left edge. The 18th is nine paces on and five left, which leaves the players with an open look at the hole for a run-up shot and potential eagle, but the hole is cut on a hump. Van Pelt's five-foot birdie putt there had a foot of break, he said.
"You are going to see some interesting putting at the end of the day," Van Pelt summed up. "And you add a little more bumpiness and a few spike marks, and there could be all kinds of fun for those late guys. It will be all about nerves and a little luck, too."
-- Dave Shedloski