West Coast Swing finds it's tough to shake reputation for bad weather
By Doug Ferguson
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – The first stop on the "California Coastal Swing" this year featured 40 mph gusts and rain that led to a Monday finish at Torrey Pines with no spectators and hardly any volunteers. And that's all it takes to revive memories of what once was referred to as the Wet Coast Swing.
Reputations can be hard to break.
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was canceled after two rounds in 1996, a decision that led to strict weather guidelines on the PGA Tour. Pebble only made it through two rounds in 1998 when players were asked to return in August to complete three rounds and make it official. Payne Stewart (1999) and Dustin Johnson (2009) both won Pebble when the final round was never played because of rain.
As for Riviera? It's hard to forget 2005 when Adam Scott beat Chad Campbell in a playoff and didn't get credit for a PGA Tour victory (except for the $864,000 check) because rain allowed for only 36 holes over four days.
Forgotten are the good days.
There have been plenty in the last decade, and good weather is never better than at Pebble, Riviera and Torrey Pines.
The Northern Trust Open at Riviera has been rain-free the last four years during the tournament.
And while the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines didn't end until Monday, it was largely rain-free in eight of the previous 10 years. One of the two exceptions was in 2013 when the tournament finished on Monday because of fog.
Five times in the last 10 years, there hasn't been any rain during the four days of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and in two years, there was only light rain during one of the rounds. Weather still seems to be what players think of along the California coast – good and bad.
When it's good, it can be spectacular. When it's bad, it can be miserable.
There is no rain in forecast at Pebble this week.
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