A new course in the ro­ta­tion at Peb­ble

. . . and an old one worth get­ting to know

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

PEB­BLE BEACH, Calif. (AP)— Just tak­ing a scenic stroll around Peb­ble Beach makes it ob­vi­ous the U.S. Open will be here this sum­mer.

Not be­cause of who’s here, but what’s not. The rock is gone. While not the most fa­mous land­mark in golf, the white, kneehigh rock has been part of the eighth fair­way at Peb­ble Beach for years. Be­cause the tee shot is up­hill to a blind fair­way, it was po­si­tioned at the top of the hill to serve as a tar­get.

But with the U.S. Open four months away, the tar­get has changed.

“It’s not re­ally in a good line any­more,” Adam Scott said Wed­nes­day. He hasn’t been to Peb­ble Beach since 1999 when he lost in the first round of the U.S. Am­a­teur, and Scott no­ticed it was miss­ing right away.

The fair­way used to be plenty wide, stretch­ing from in­side the cart path on the left to the wa­ter haz­ard — also known as the Pa­cific Ocean — to the right. The USGA al­ready is defin­ing the fair- way widths, so the rough now juts in some 25 yards from the left.

Tim Petrovic found that out the hard way. He hit what ap­peared to be a suit­able drive on the eighth hole, only to climb the hill and see his ball in the rough.

“ The fair­way used to be all the way to that fence,” he said, point­ing to an en­closed con­ces­sion area. “ Yeah, this is dif­fer­ent.”

That’s not the only change this week.

The AT&T Peb­ble Beach Na­tional Pro-Am gets un­der way Thurs­day with a dif­fer­ent ro­ta­tion of cour­ses and some new faces.

Sev­eral play­ers de­cided to sign up this year to get ac­quainted with a U.S. Open course, such as Scott, Luke Don­ald and Ser­gio Gar­cia, who last played Peb­ble in 2001 with his sis­ter as his am­a­teur part­ner.

More sig­nif­i­cant is the change in course ro­ta­tion.

Poppy Hills, which play­ers notso-af­fec­tion­ately re­ferred to as “Sloppy Hills” be­cause it drained so poorly, has been re­placed by the Shore Course at Mon­terey Penin­sula Coun­try Club.

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