Rory McIlroy is playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the second time in his career. He has a little more familiarity with the tournament’s main course due to a pair of U.S. Open appearances on golf’s hallowed grounds.
He was a floppy-haired youngster when he teed it up at Pebble Beach in 2010.
Rounds of 75 and 77 don’t jump off the page, but conditions were tough. The 20-year-old only missed the cut by three.
McIlroy didn’t make his Pro-Am debut until 2018 when he played alongside his dad. A poor Friday round of 3-over 74 at Monterey Peninsula spoiled an opening 4-under 68 at Spyglass Hill and even-par 72 at Pebble. He missed the cut by two.
McIlroy did better next year at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble despite much tougher conditions and higher stakes. The Northern Irishman posted 68-69-70-72 to take T-9th. He wasn’t in the mix to win but was just two shots out of a tie for third place.
McIlroy is making his 2024 PGA Tour season debut. That doesn’t mean he’s rusty.
He comes in off of a week of rest after his fourth career win at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour. It was a nice confidence booster after coming just shy the week prior at the Dubai Invitational, where he took T-2nd.
Outside of major championships and Ryder Cups, there isn’t much more McIlroy can really do to significantly add to his legacy on the course. Winning at historic venues should still mean something, though.
The course rota at the Pro-Am doesn’t perfectly play into McIlroy’s skillset. With that said, his “bad” weeks still result in top-10s and top-20s to keep your DFS lineup afloat. He can get hot anywhere and win.
The driver won’t be out as much as normal. More layups can just let his solid iron play do the talking. He was eighth on the PGA Tour last season in Strokes Gained: Approach (.721).
The key will be if McIlroy can roll in enough putts on these unpredictable poa annua greens.
I see him making enough to contend and post his best result ever on property.