Crosby Weather: The Worst Years
January 31, 2024 / by Jerry Stewart
There’s no question that Crosby Weather will be making an impact at this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
It’s nothing new. Weather has always been a factor at the tournament.
And if you think it’s bad this week? Well, compared to other years, it actually may end up being described as somewhat pleasant.
Here’s a look at some of the worst weather years since the event arrived at Pebble Beach Golf Links in 1947.
1996: Things were so windy, and more specifically wet, that two holes at Spyglass Hill (Nos. 11 and 16) were partly under water. As a result, PGA Tour and tournament officials on Sunday made the decision to cancel the entire tournament. It was the first time an event was completely called off since the 1949 Colonial.
1952: Known in lore as the ‘Year of the Big Blow’, players at Cypress Point were greeted in the first round by winds of 45 mph. With scores coming in as high as 93, the day low a 74 by Jimmy Demaret. Things got so bad that Dr. Cary Middlecoff and his playing partners tried to walk off the course. Upon trying to leave, they were met by burly Pebble Beach head pro Peter Hay, who told the group: “Show me in the Rules book where it says you have to tee up the ball. Now get back out there and play!” Middlecoff and his partners did just that.
1960: In a re-hash of 1952’s ‘Big Blow’, players again were met with winds up to 50 mph. Only 17 pros out of the 150-player field shot par or better. Due to high winds, Ed Furgol ended up three-putting from 3 feet. Said eventual winner Ken Venturi: “It was the worst weather we’ve ever played in.”
1962: Known as the year of the ‘Big Snow’, play on Sunday was suspended because of snow and sleet. Said Jimmy Demaret, “I know I had some drinks last night, but how did I end up at Squad Valley?”
1998: In what became billed as the longest-running tournament in the world, the Pro-Am started in February and ended in…August. Thanks to El Nino storms, the final round (54 holes) was postponed until Aug. 17, the day after the conclusion of the PGA Championship. Phil Mickelson wins it, shooting a final round 67 on a calm summer day at Pebble Beach.
2009: While it had been a while, the 54-hole Pro-Am saw Mother Nature make another strong showing. On Sunday, there were high winds and over an inch of rain. Amidst it all, a 40-foot Monterey pine came crashing down on the third hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The final round never happened, with Dustin Johnson being named the winner of the 54-hole event.
1974: Rain wiped out Thursday’s first round, so the tournament opened on Friday. On Saturday, it not only rained but also hailed. The goal became a Sunday finish with everyone having completed play on all three tournament venues. Another storm hit on Monday, and Johnny Miller was declared the 54-hole winner.
1981: Rain and wind postponed the first for not one but two days, and officials right from the go declared that it would be a 54-hole event. How bad were things? Jack Nicklaus and Roger Penske flew their jets to Palm Springs to practice during the weather. On Monday, a record five players finished tied for the lead. John Cook would win the playoff for his first PGA Tour victory.