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POPPY HILLS 0


Birdies on the


by the Numbers 1


185-yard sixth hole, the only hole on either course that did not yield a birdie. It ranked as the


second toughest hole of the tournament.


F The Pros Return to Poppy Hills


rom 1991 to 2009, Poppy Hills co-hosted the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. So when the Champions Tour played Poppy Hills during the First Tee Open, most of the field was familiar with the property. But that was before its recent renovation by Robert Trent Jones II. The focal point of Jones’ 13-month project—conducted between March 2013


and April of this year—was water conservation and improvement of the drainage system. But the entire course was rethought, with some old critiques in mind. What did Champions Tour pros think about the new Poppy Hills?


Olin Browne


2011 U.S. Senior Open champion: I loved it. I never thought I’d say that about Poppy Hills.


Mark O’Meara


Five-time AT&T winner: I think it’s amazing. Nothing beats being on the Monterey Peninsula. And this golf course now is really beautiful, really nice. I really liked it.


Ben Crenshaw


Two-time Masters champion and course designer: I like what I see. There was a lot of work done out here. I think it’s a good, strong golf course. It’s beautiful. Bobby (Jones) did a very good job.


Davis Love III


Two-time AT&T winner: It’s a bit like what Crenshaw does. You’ve got the fairway and then waste areas and trees. At times, you’re like, ‘Wow, it looks like Augusta.’ The 16th to me has an Augusta look with its big amphitheater and the no rough.”


Nick Price


Three-time major champion: It’s a huge improvement on the old course. It looks beautiful. They deserve a pat on the back for the terrific job they did, and the superintendent has done a great job. There’s a big change on the back nine, and it is really fun to play.


Tom Lehman


1996 British Open champion: I like the course a lot. It’s a huge improvement. It’s fun to play, and I never thought that before. There’s a way more natural feel to it.


Jeff Sluman


Three-time First Tee Open winner: I think the changes are terrific. This was one of my least favorite golf courses of all time. It’s a world of difference. The course is very pleasing to the eye.


Skip Kendall


Tied for third at 2014 First Tee Open: The changes warrant bringing it back to the AT&T.


11 9


The only eagle made at Poppy Hills happened on the 535-yard ninth hole.


Holes that averaged over par. The five toughest? Nos. 1, 6, 12, 15 and 5.


Birdies on the 18th hole, the most of any at Poppy Hills. No. 18 tied for the easiest hole at Poppy Hills with No. 9 at 0.296 strokes under par.


32 66


Rounds at par or better out of 81 over the


43


two days at Poppy Hills.


The lowest score shot at Poppy Hills, in the first round by Blaine McCallister, who had six birdies and one bogey. McCallister birdied Nos. 8 and 9 to close out his round.


71.74


The scoring average at


Poppy Hills, or nearly 3/4 of a stroke over par. Pebble Beach played to a


scoring average 71.93, or just a shade under par.


The highest score shot at Poppy Hills, in the first round by 1986


82


PGA Championship winner Bob Tway, and the second


round by two-time major champion Fuzzy Zoeller.


Yards Poppy Hills played, 123 less than the Jones Trail tees.


6,879 FALL 2014 / NCGA.ORG / 15


The 417-yard first hole at


Pebble Beach


was the hardest hole in the


tournament, playing .358


strokes over par.


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