Which pro-am is better: Alfred Dunhill or Pebble Beach?

By Randall MellOctober 6, 2012, 1:00 pm

With plenty of celebrity and tradition on both sides of the pond, the GolfChannel.com team debates the better pro-am: AT&T Pebble Beach or the Alfred Dunhill Championship?


Even if you don’t like golf, walking along the fairways during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is anything but a good walk spoiled.

Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods all played at Pebble Beach, but they never made contact more spectacularly than the way the surf hits the rocks in Stillwater Cove. The old Crosby Clambake will never lose its charm because of that, no matter which stars show up.

There are few vistas in the game as stunning as the tee box at Pebble Beach’s seventh hole, the shortest tough hole in golf. The views on the eighth and 18th tee boxes are not bad either. 

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship also offers some special settings with St. Andrews and Carnoustie among the courses the event is played upon. There is no more sacred ground in golf than the Old Course, but Pebble Beach feels as if it takes you to heaven's doorstep. Robert Louis Stevenson didn’t call it “The most felicitous meeting of land and sea in creation” for nothing.


Athletes want to be rock stars and rock stars want to be athletes. Blondes want to be brunettes and brunettes want to be blondes. (And yes, some of us just want hair.) The point is, as Mick Jagger has been screeching for decades, you can’t always get what you want.

The grass is always greener on the other side. Unless, of course, the other side happens to include a three-course rotation of St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, where faded fairways and brownish greens are not only the norm, but perfectly acceptable.

It only makes sense that a British golfer would long for the lush shorefront real estate of the Monterey Peninsula, just as an American secretly craves the hallowed ground of Scotland’s yards. You won’t find me bellyaching about the majestic California courses, but given my choice of whether to compete in the grandest stateside pro-am or the coolest overseas edition, I’ll take the latter and run with it – for as far as my punched 2-iron will take me on those vaunted links.

Kingsbarns is the most awe-inspiring “new” course I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting; Carnoustie is a dreaded beast best left untamed and St. Andrews is, well, it’s St. Andrews – and if that simple explanation isn’t enough to get you salivating, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention these last couple of centuries.

So give me that 2-iron in a romp over a hybrid. Give me another pint at The Dunvegan in a 1-up victory over a cocktail in The Tap Room. Give me the Dunhill Links by the smallest of margins over the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Maybe someday it’ll happen. After all, you can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.


With a monsoon of respect to the home of golf and Auld Grey Toon, there is only one Clambake and only one pro-am that is a must-see, or must-play if one is lucky enough to merit a tee time.

What the Old Course and St. Andrews enjoy in historical significance, Pebble Beach makes up for with postcard views, an “A” list of celebrities and a rejuvenated rotation of courses that is second to none.

Iconic Pebble Beach has always been the centerpiece of the annual PGA Tour stop, but in 2010 Monterey Peninsula Country Club was added to the “Crosby” rotation and may be, according to many a Tour frat brother, a better golf course. By comparison Carnoustie and Kingsbarn, the other two courses in the Dunhill Links rota, are consolation prizes.

While neither event enjoys a world-class field, other than Bill Murray – whose shtick seems lost on the U.K. galleries – the Dunhill lacks the star power that Pebble Beach enjoys.

And if that wasn’t enough, consider the weather. For all the annual hand-wringing over “Crosby weather,” Pebble Beach has enjoyed Chamber of Commerce-like conditions in recent years. By comparison, on Saturday at St. Andrews the morning groups will tee off in breezy conditions with temperatures in the 40s.

There is no place better than St. Andrews in July, at the Open Championship, but when it comes to a pro-am, Pebble Beach is the gold standard.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.