The basics of the US Open at Pebble Beach

This tournament isn’t the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

After years of buildup, it’s finally U.S. Open week on the Monterey Peninsula. If you haven’t been following along to know what the tournament is all about, we’ve got you covered.

The United States Open Championship, or the U.S. Open for short, is golf’s national championship, which takes place annually in June. While the tournament appears on the PGA Tour calendar, it’s conducted by the United States Golf Association.

The upcoming U.S. Open and the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am have much in common but they also have many differences.

“Overall, it’s just a bigger event,” said David Stivers, president of Pebble Beach Co. and general chairman of the U.S. Open, about the upcoming tournament.

According to Stivers, the Pebble Beach Golf Links greens will be faster and firmer, the fairways will be narrower and the rough is going to be a lot higher than during the AT&T Pro-Am. The tournament is notorious for incredibly difficult conditions and course setups, no matter where it’s played.

“It’s going to be a typical U.S. Open,” Tiger Woods said June 1 during a news conference at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio. “It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be difficult. And we know that going in.”

Woods, who won his fifth Masters Tournament in April, will play Pebble Beach Golf Links competitively for the first time since he finished tied for 15th in the 2012 AT&T Pro-Am.

The Richard MacDonald U.S. Open Monument Bronze Sculpture 2000 on display near the driving range at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. It had previously been displayed at Peter Hay Golf Course, which has since been transformed in Fan Central. (Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald) 

As one of golf’s four major championships, the U.S. Open brings in many golfers who traditionally skip the AT&T Pro-Am as the sports world focuses its eyes on the prestigious event. The tournament will play host to the top golfers in the world including Brooks Koepka, winner of the past two U.S. Opens and the past two PGA Championships, and 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson.

Phil Mickelson, who won his record-tying fifth AT&T Pro-Am title in February, will return to the Peninsula in search of his first U.S. Open title. Mickelson won his first major title in 2004 when he edged Ernie Els for the Masters title. He repeated the feat in 2006 and 2010, while earning his first PGA Championship in 2005. Mickelson won the British Open in 2013, leaving the U.S. Open as the only major championship left for him to complete a career grand slam.

While the top golfers in the world will be on the course, don’t expect to see Bill Murray’s buffoonery or Larry the Cable Guy’s antics at Pebble Beach this week. As opposed to the AT&T Pro-Am, which includes celebrities, athletes from other sports and even the occasional musical performance, the U.S. Open is strictly golf.

Ticket prices and availability outside the U.S. Open Championship merchandise tent in Pebble Beach was open for business to the public on Thursday. (Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald) 

The USGA encourages fans to seek autographs during the U.S. Open, but it is prohibited from the time a player is en route to their first tee until the completion of the player’s round.

In contrast to the AT&T Pro-Am, the U.S. Open doesn’t feature multiple events like the Chevron Shoot-Out or the 3M Celebrity Challenge in the days before the official start on Thursday. Fans will be able to watch practice rounds Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round tees off Thursday. According to the USGA, players electing to play a full practice round generally begin between 6:45 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Gates open at 6 a.m. Monday through Sunday. For the first and second rounds, play is scheduled to begin at 6:45 a.m. from both the first and 10th tees. According to the USGA, the first starting time for the third and fourth rounds depends on the number of players who make the cut at the conclusion of the second round (the 60 lowest scorers and anyone tying for 60th place). Generally, the first group begins play from the first tee between 8-9 a.m.

The U.S. Open differs from the AT&T Pro-Am in that the cut takes place after the second round like most PGA Tour events rather than the third round.

The 119th U.S. Open will be the sixth held at Pebble Beach Golf Links, with previous ones held in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000 and 2010. In 2000, the USGA celebrated the 100th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. This year is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Pebble Beach. The tournament will return to the course in 2027.

The U.S. Open will be played on one golf course, Pebble Beach Golf Links, as opposed to the AT&T Pro-Am that takes place at Pebble Beach as well as Spyglass Hill Golf Course and the Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course.

As fans walk into the championship grounds they will see Fan Central. The area will feature games, booths, photo opportunities and the 37,000-square-foot Main Merchandise Pavilion.

Out near the course, fans will have a chance to take a photo with the U.S. Open trophy.

With more fans and more corporate hospitality, the championship grounds will be covered with far more structures than during the AT&T Pro-Am.

“We’ve built sort of a mini-city in our little town of Pebble Beach,” Stivers said.

When: Practice rounds, Monday-Wednesday. Tournament play, Thursday-Sunday

Where: Pebble Beach Golf Links

Tickets: (Sold-out Saturday, Sunday)


Fox SportsThursday-Friday: 4:30-7:30 p.m.Saturday: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.Sunday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

FS1Thursday-Friday: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


Fox SportsThursday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.Saturday: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.Sunday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

USOpen.comThursday-Friday: 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.Sunday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

SOURCE:  MercuryNews



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