Armour seeking 3rd straight Pebble Beach title


PEBBLE BEACH, California (AP)—Tommy Armour III will seek his third straightCallaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational title against a diverse field from thefour major professional tours beginning on Thursday.

Players from the U.S. PGA Tour, U.S. LPGA Tour, Champions Tour andNationwide Tour as well as mini-tour players and club pros will compete in the72-hole event, now in its 38th year. The first three rounds of the $300,000event will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course andDel Monte Golf Course.

Armour made a 36-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a three-way playoffwith Scott Simpson and Brock MacKenzie to win the 2008 event after losing afive-stroke lead and finishing regulation play at Pebble Beach with a 4-over 76.

George McNeill , who had two runner-up finishes this season and finished 57thon the money list, is the highest of the field’s 12 U.S. PGA Tour playersentered from the top 125 on the 2009 final money list.

The U.S. PGA Tour field also includes Rocco Mediate , runner-up in the 2008U.S Open, former U.S. PGA Championship winner Rich Beem and former U.S. PGA Tourwinners Daniel Chopra , Kevin Sutherland , Andrew Magee , Mark Brooks , SteveFlesch , JJ Henry , Cameron Beckman , Billy Mayfair , Notah Begay III , Marc Turnesa and Matt Gogel .

John Cook , who won twice this season and finished third on the money list,heads the field of 11 Champions Tour entrants that also includes Simpson.

The inaugural LPGA Tour Championship in Houston, Texas, is also scheduledthis week, reducing the Pebble Beach Invitational women’s field to four players.

Following the 54-hole cut, the top 40 pros and 10 amateur teams will playthe final round on Sunday at Pebble Beach. The winner will earn $60,000.