The larger than normal field at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am will see 12 Australians tee up on the Monterey Peninsula this week including rookie Brett Coletta who makes just his second start as a Professional.
Coletta, who won the Queensland Open as an amateur, has received a sponsor’s invite to play the prestigious event having made the cut at the European Tour’s Singapore Open two weeks ago.
It is the promising 20-year-old’s firs Professional start in the US and while the learning curve will be steep the Victorian has a game ideally suited to the courses of the PGA TOUR.
Coletta will be joined by 11 of his countryman in the event which is played over three courses on California’s stunning Monterey Peninsula, the final round at the iconic Pebble Beach layout.
Over the first three days the players will also play one round each at both the Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club courses.
Joining Coletta this week are Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy, Matt Jones, Greg Chalmers, Brett Drewitt, John Senden, Rod Pampling, Stuart Appleby, Cameron Smith, Steven Bowditch and Cameron Percy.
All will be trying to become just the third Australian to lift one of the oldest trophies on the Tour, Brett Ogle and Bruce Crampton the only Australians to salute here since the tournament began in 1937.
World Number One Day will be the favourite amongst the Australians but also among the favourites to take the title boasting an enviable record at the tournament.
In seven appearances the Queenslander has been inside the top 10 three times and only outside the top 20 twice and after a disappointing last outing at Torrey Pines will be pleased to be back in comfortable surrounds.
It’s been a less than stellar return to competitive golf for Day in 2017 after a long layoff caused by back issues late last year but he is a determined competitor and a better showing this week seems likely.
Of the other Australians Cameron Smith will be one to watch after a good showing here in 2016.
An opening 64 in 2016 had the Queenslander second after 18 holes and he went on to finish T11, mostly caused by a disappointing second round 75.
Smith has played steady golf in the early part of the year and a high finish this week would be no surprise.
Also looking for a good result this week is Matt Jones who comes into the week off some encouraging play in Arizona last week where he was a tournament invite.
Jones will have limited playing opportunities this year and will be looking to take full advantage of this one at a tournament where he has a good track record.
In nine previous starts Jones has two top-10’s and led the tournament after two rounds in 2015 before a final round 73 dropped him to T7.
He brings good memories to the California coast this year after a T11 result in 2016 and coming off a 5-under 66 Sunday at TPC Scottsdale indications are his game is in good shape.
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