By TONY WEBECK
It is the ocean views that endear it to many but it is what he sees on the ground that makes Jason Day believe success at Pebble Beach Golf Links is within reach.
Day heads a contingent of eight Australians playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at the famed Monterey Peninsula that in June will also host the US Open.
In nine appearances in the tournament that is played across Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club before reaching its conclusion at Pebble, Day has registered five top-six finishes including a tie for second 12 months ago.
After working off the rust at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Day was tied for fifth in the defence of his Farmers Insurance Open title a fortnight ago and is excited at the prospect of breaking Australia’s drought at Pebble Beach that stretches back more than 25 years.
“All three courses suit my eye, but I guess I just have to be patient and let things unfold,” Day told AAP.
“I’ve had some very good finishes here and I feel like I am going to win this tournament one year.
“I’ve had a lot of top-fives and top-10s and played really well here, but I don’t know what has stopped me from winning.
“Sometimes you just get beat on the day, even though you played well. Ted Potter played better than everyone last year.”
Day will commence his tournament campaign at Monterey Peninsula Country Club alongside Canadian Mackenzie Hughes with Adam Scott, Curtis Luck and Ryan Ruffels also starting the tournament at the course that has played the easiest of the three in six of the past nine years.
Ruffels received a sponsor’s invitation to play in the event where he was tied 60th in 2016, the 19th PGA TOUR tournament he has played in courtesy of an invite.
John Senden is off the 10th tee with Scott Stallings in the first group at Spyglass Hill in the opening round, fellow Aussie Rod Pampling to follow in the group directly behind. Cameron Davis, Aaron Baddeley and Matt Jones are also playing Spyglass Hill first up.
On the Champions Tour, Victorian David McKenzie makes his first appearance of 2019 at the Oasis Championship in Boca Raton, Florida, a tournament in which he tied for 24th last year, 11 shots behind victor Mark Calcavecchia.