Patrick Cantlay, the highest-ranked pro at this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, believes scheduling issues are the main reason for the tournament’s weak field.
Following Dustin Johnson’s late withdrawal from the event - the world No.1 cited jet lag following his Saudi International victory - the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am will go ahead with none of the world's top-10.
Only five players inside the top-50 will tee it up, with Patrick Cantlay the highest-ranked player at 11th in the world.
Cantlay himself has shed some light on why the tournament has failed to attract the big names like it has done in previous years.
“I think the weather has a big part to do with it and then also the upcoming schedule has the biggest issue to do with it,” explained the 28-year-old.
“I think the next three tournaments are LA, which is obviously a big tournament, then the WGC, then Bay Hill, and then The Players Championship. Those are four big tournaments all in a row and you just can't play all of them.”
Daniel Berger and Paul Casey are the only other top-20 players in the field, with Jason Day and Will Zalatoris coming in as the only other top-50 golfers. Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Francesco Molinari are some of the bigger names teeing it up but all are currently outside the world's top-50.
“I decided to play here and I'm not going to play Bay Hill, so it worked in my schedule for that reason," added Cantlay. "But if I was going to play Bay Hill, it probably wouldn't make sense for me to play here.”
Three-time PGA Tour winner Cantlay went on to give some insight into how tour players piece together their schedule.
“I don't like to play anything more than three [tournaments] in a row,” said Cantlay. “Depending upon what courses I like and where I feel comfortable, usually places I've played before, I'll go to those places and then try and figure out the schedule around not playing more than three in a row.”
This week's event will also go ahead without its usual celebrity amateurs due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, whilst Only two courses will be used instead of the traditional three. Monterey Peninsula misses out in favour of Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill.