Jason Sobel - February 12, 2012


The buzz at Pebble Beach about the Tiger & Phil final round pairing is absolutely huge. As well as Charlie Wi and Ken Duke have played for 54 holes, Sunday will not be about them. No offense to Charlie and Ken, but this is the marquee matchup that everyone has been waiting for and everyone is hoping that the winner will come from that pairing.

It was an unusual situation last night because the amateur situation made the final round pairings more complicated. Most weeks, everyone knows who will be playing together within an hour after the end of the third round. But because of the time required to try to configure the groupings with some having amateurs and some not having amateurs, it takes a lot more time. Everyone had a feeling that Tiger and Phil would be together but it took a few hours to make that official.

In his opinion, the winner at Pebble Beach on Sunday will be Tiger Woods in part because he has seen more of Tiger this week than he has of anyone else. His ball striking is so good this week and his putting on Saturday showed that he is capable of a strong performance on the greens. Recent weeks have proven that big names can fail to win and smaller names can come out on top but while he will take Tiger to win, he also noted that Dustin Johnson and Hunter Mahan are but two great players who are under the radar and close to the lead.

He does not think that the amateurs will have any impact on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson other than to possibly slow them down a bit during their final round which could be beneficial to both of them. Tiger and Phil are used to playing with amateurs during tournament rounds and the best thing that Tony Romo and Skip McGee can do today is to stay out of their professional partners’ way.

Saturday is traditionally the fun day at Pebble Beach with celebrities like Bill Murray and George Lopez entertaining the crowds with their antics and while that happened yesterday, this was also the year that the golf got serious because both Tiger and Phil were at Pebble Beach and both moved into contention.