Not Everyone Flocking to Pebble Beach

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 8, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmThere was a time, not so long ago, when a course alone could draw the top players in the world to a tournament. Pebble Beach was one; Riviera another.
 
Over the next two weeks, two of the most historic tournaments on the PGA Tour will take place ' on two vintage venues.
 
Some of the games best will be at this weeks AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, while others will be at next weeks Nissan Open. But few will be at both.
 
It used to be there were two or three good tournaments on the West Coast, now there are seven or eight maybe, said two-time AT&T winner Davis Love III, who will again play Pebble but skip Riviera. In the old days, you would play Pebble and Riviera and just throw another one or two in there.
 
Money is one reason for diversity along the left coast. Pebble pays out a $5.3 million purse; Riviera $4.8 million. Those might seem like big, big numbers, but every tournament on the West Coast swing ' with the exception of the Chrysler Classic of Tucson, which is played concurrently with the WGC-Match Play ' has a purse of at least $4.7 million.
 
And once players change time zones, theyll find that only one tournament has a purse of less than $5 million through the month of June.
 
The West Coast swing is an eight-week stretch comprised of nine tournaments. Pebble Beach and the Nissan are the precursors to the WGC-Accenture Match Play. With all of the money on offer, it makes it easier for players to pick and choose where they desire to play ' so as not to wear themselves out .
 
I feel obligated to play a lot of other tournaments, said 1998 Pebble Beach winner Phil Mickelson, who is taking off the week of the Nissan. I dont want to play seven in a row.
 
In 2001, Tiger Woods was the defending champion at Pebble Beach. There were seven of the top 10 players in the world in attendance that year; the next year there were five; then three; and three again last year. This year, four of the top 10 in the world are on the commitment list: Mickelson, Love, Mike Weir and defending champion Vijay Singh.
 
By comparison, Mickelson and Love will definitely skip the Nissan; however, players like Woods, Sergio Garcia and Stewart Cink will more than likely take their place.
 
Woods competed at Pebble Beach from 1997-2002, winning in 2000 (the same year he also won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach). But he has soured on the conditions of greens, saying last year, You walk off the golf course saying you can never make a 1-foot putt.
 
No one disputes that each golf ball needs its own ATV to navigate the bumpy terrain on the greens around the Monterey Peninsula. And, with the pro-am format, rounds reach upwards of six hours. Then, of course, there is always the potential for bone-chilling rain.
 
But for those loyal to the tournament ' and the course, they say: deal with it.
 
You can block those things out and just roll with it or you can use it for an excuse not to go. I think there (are) a lot of reasons to come here, said Love. Playing Pebble Beach and playing your Sunday round at Pebble, having a chance to win on a historic golf course is well worth playing a practice round in the rain. It's part of the experience here. There (are) very few places where everything is perfect. It's just a matter of which week you want to play.
 
Peter Jacobsen, the 1995 champion who has played in 25 of these tournaments, says that its more than just a good opportunity for a player to compete on a classic course ' its their obligation as a tour member to mingle with the financial mighty who help put money in their pockets.
 
I always say to them let me ask you this: how much did you make on tour last year? Four million? Would you trade one week, one week a year of basically giving back to your organization to make that every year? Most of the guys say, yeah, I would. And I go, well, then I'll see you in Pebble Beach next year, Jacobsen stated last year.
 
This is a very unique event, very special tournament. I think it's the most important event we have on the PGA Tour schedule, because we have a chance to rub elbows with all the CEOs and CFOs and executive VPs ' and most of our guests here this week that are playing really hold the PGA Tour in their hand in terms of the future success. And that's why I think it's very important for our top players to recognize that and play this event. And it hurts me ' it bothers me to see the declining numbers of great players, marquee players not playing this event, because it's so very, very important to the success of the tour.
 
This is the 64th playing of the tournament.
 
There are again three courses in the rotation this week. Players will compete on Pebble Beach Golf Links (par 72, 6,816 yards), Spyglass Hill (par 72, 6,862 yards) and Poppy Hills (par 72, 6,833 yards) each over of the first three rounds.
 
A cut is made after 54 holes to the low 60 professionals and ties. They will play Pebble Beach in the final round.
 
Approximately 200 square feet of rough along the left side of the 18th hole on the host course dropped into the Pacific Ocean in January, during the torrential storms that wreaked havoc on the west coast. That should have little impact during the tournament, however, since players aim to the right side of the fairway.
 
Each of the 180 pros has an amateur partner. All of the amateurs will play the first three rounds, with a cut to the low 25 teams and ties competing in the final round.
 
Related Links:
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.