Will Cypress Point rejoin the AT&T rotation?

March 19, 2009

It seems unlikely, despite speculation earlier this week that it has rejoined the discussion. An Associated Press story on possible changes afoot for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am said this: "The other component is the course, and among those mentioned as a replacement for Poppy Hills — the weak link in the rotation — is Cypress Point, rated as among the best courses in America. Cypress was dropped from the rotation in 1991 because of its exclusionary membership policies, which no longer is a problem."

Why would the membership at Cypress Point want the public traipsing across its hallowed grounds for a week? It probably doesn't.

Ollie Nutt, president and CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, told the Herald in Monterey County that, "We've had no conversation with Cypress."

The PGA Tour and the tournament have expressed an interest in replacing Poppy Hills in the rotation with either the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club or the Bayonet Course at Fort Ord in Seaside, just north of Monterey.

Other changes reportedly under discussion are to reduce the size of the field from 180 pros to 144 to help alleviate the fairway traffic jams that tend to produce rounds lasting up to six hours.

-- John Strege