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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    Garcia among bubble boys keeping playoff hopes alive

    By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 12:34 am

    Sergio Garcia gave himself a chance to keep his perfect FedExCup Playoffs record going with his rally Friday at the Wyndham Championship.

    D.A. Points moved into position to make a historic leap into the postseason.

    And Johnson Wagner dunked his last shot of the day from long range to keep his hopes of making the playoffs alive.

    But the day didn’t end nearly as well for Tyrone Van Aswegen’s FedExCup hopes.

    Van Aswegen didn’t do himself any favors trying to hold on to the 125th spot on the FedExCup points list. He missed the cut by a shot.

    Only the top 125 advance to The Northern Trust and next week’s start to the playoffs.

    Van Aswegen wasn’t alone among “bubble boys” missing the cut. No. 122 Jhonattan Vegas, No. 123 Seamus Power, No. 124 Martin Piller, No. 126 Chad Campbell and No. 127 Robert Garrigus all failed to make the weekend.

    Garcia is among 13 players who have advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs every year since they began in 2007, but his run was in jeopardy of ending starting the week. He’s 131st on the FedExCup points list

    With a 65 Friday following his opening round 66, Garcia is in more than a great position to advance. He’s in position to win the Wyndham. He is tied for fourth, five shots off the lead. The day ended with Garcia projected to move up to 118th on the FedExCup points list.


    Wyndham Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

    Current FedExCup points list


    “I'm just going to try to keep building on the things that I did well these first two days,” Garcia said. “Whatever happens, happens. Like I said at the beginning of the week, if I have a great weekend, then it will be great. If I don't have a great weekend, it will still be great because

    I'll get to rest.”

    Points started the week 214th on the FedExCup points list. With back-to-back 64s, he trails only Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend. He’s projected to move to 81st in points. Nobody has ever started the Wyndham Championship that far back in points and qualified for the playoffs. Davis Love III was 186th when he won and advanced in 2015.

    Wagner, 136th on the FedExCup points list, went to spectacular lengths Friday to keep his playoff hopes alive. He was outside the cut line until holing his 153-yard approach at the last.

    Bill Haas, who is among those 13 players to have qualified for the playoffs every year, started the week 150th in points. He can keep his perfect playoff record going with a big weekend. He shot 68 Friday to make the cut. He’s tied for 52nd in the tournament.

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    Points two back after missing 16 of 17 cuts

    By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:54 pm

    What’s the better story come Sunday?

    Brandt Snedeker turning his 59 in the opening round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship?

    Or D.A. Points winning after missing 16 cuts in his last 17 starts?

    They’re both scripts in the works at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

    Points, who has been struggling this season with a herniated disc that causes numbness in his fingers, has broken through his season-long funk to shoot back-to-back 64s. He starts the weekend in second place, two shots behind Snedeker.


    Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “It's been difficult,” Points said of his slump. “It's been hard on my family. I was in this position a couple years ago, and I clawed my way back and won in Puerto Rico.

    “I had that big downturn, and I clawed my way out of it just to find myself way back down in another deep hole again.”

    Points, 41, is a three-time PGA Tour winner. He won his first title playing alongside Bill Murray at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2011 and two years later won the Shell Houston Open. He slipped into a three-year funk after that, before rebuilding his game and winning the Puerto Rico Open last year.

    “Hopefully, this is my way of starting to claw back out,” Points said.

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    New 'Mr. 59' Snedeker needs Day 2 rally to keep Wyndham lead

    By Randall MellAugust 17, 2018, 11:24 pm

    Brandt Snedeker struggled coming off the emotional high that comes with shooting 59, but it didn’t stop him from rallying Friday to try to turn his historic round into a victory at the Wyndham Championship.

    After a sluggish start to the second round, Snedeker caught fire on the back nine at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., to take the lead going into the weekend.

    With a 3-under 67, Snedeker moved to 14 under overall, two shots ahead of D.A. Points (64).

    “I knew it was going to be tough” Snedeker said. “It wasn't going to be the same way it was yesterday. Kind of battling the emotion of everybody pulling hard for you, wanting to see you do it again. So the front nine was disappointing.”

    A day after becoming the ninth player in PGA Tour history to post a sub-60 tournament round, Snedeker opened with three bogeys and two birdies on the front nine. He said it was a struggle to begin anew.


    Full-field scores from Wyndham Championship

    Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “You hear people telling you every two seconds, `Mr. 59,’ or saying how cool it was to watch it,” Snedeker said. “Phone's still blowing up this morning, guys in the locker room are still talking to me about it. So, yes, totally on your mind. You can't ignore it. You can't try to forget about it. Hardest thing is trying to get back into a rhythm.”

    Snedeker did with an eagle and two birdies on the back nine. Rolling in a 30-foot eagle putt at the 15th gave him back the lead he lost earlier in the round.

    “To see that go in was huge,” Snedeker said.

    Not every player to break 60 on the PGA Tour has gone on to win. In fact, Snedeker is looking to become just the fifth player to do so.

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    Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open

    By Associated PressAugust 17, 2018, 9:53 pm

    ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

    The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.

    ''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''

    He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.


    Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


    "I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''

    Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.

    ''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''

    Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.

    Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.