Punch Shot: Which celebrity would you want to play with at Pebble Beach?

By Jason SobelFebruary 6, 2013, 5:40 pm

This week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is one of the coolest spectacles in sports, pairing the world's greatest golfers with A-list celebrities from several different walks of life. But if you could only choose one celebrity playing partner, who would it be? GolfChannel.com makes their picks for the week on Monterey Peninsula’s premier golf courses.


Like most questions, I can take this one a lot of different ways.

Do I want a celeb with whom I could be starry-eyed and hang on his every word? If so, give this New England Patriots fan Bill Belichick and watch as I wear out the word “genius” over the course of 54 holes.

Do I want a celeb with whom I have a prior relationship? For years, I was one of Chris Berman’s producers at ESPN. Teeing it up with Boomer would ensure plenty of laughs and I think he’d help shake any nerves that I might have standing on the first tee at Pebble.

Do I want a celeb with whom I can win the tournament? Umm, in that case, can’t Phil Mickelson be called a celeb? I’ll pair with him and reap the benefits – even if he does have to play as a plus-6 handicap for the week.

In the end, though, I think I’d decide to be less fan, friend or competitor and continue my usual role of reporter. To me, that means pegging it with the best story in the field – recently named Augusta National member Condoleezza Rice.

Just think: After three days slogging it around the peninsula with Condi, I’d have enough material to fill a week’s worth of Masters preview content. And that’s better than winning the pro-am anyway. Or at least, that’s what I’m gonna let my bosses think.


Carson Daly.

For people of a certain age, the former host of MTV’s Total Request Live played a prominent role in our formative years. Daly and his spectacularly gelled hair came into our living rooms every afternoon, from 3:30 to 5:30, and answered all of our most pressing questions.

Important questions – crucial information – such as: What’s up with Britney and Justin? Is her next music video even more scandalous than the last?

Which activist group has Eminem upset now? Will my mom let me buy his latest CD?

Which boy band will make me least nauseas today?

Which rock group is more head-bangingly awesome, Limp Bizkit or Korn?

And there was Daly, in the middle of it all, counting us down from 10 to 1, interviewing the most mentally unstable musicians in the industry.

He’s older now – 39 years old, if you can believe it – and the innocence is lost. Maybe it’s because he has a talk show I’ve never seen. Maybe it’s because he dated Tara Reid.

Whatever the case, those simpler, happier times won’t soon be forgotten. One day, perhaps, I’ll finally be able to thank him.


Give me 18 holes with Ray Romano.

My wife is a fan who falls asleep every night watching re-runs of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” It’s like the Barones are our neighbors. We know more about Ray, Debra, Robert, Frank and Marie than we know about our actual neighbors. So give me five hours with Ray Romano, whom I met after his pro-am round at the Kraft Nabisco two years ago. What immediately struck me is that he must not have had to act much in his popular sitcom, because he always seems to be in character. He was off-the-cuff funny after his round with Paula Creamer.

“He’s a funny guy, and it’s like he’s not even trying,” Creamer said that day.


Wayne Gretzky.

Rarely do you get the opportunity to tee it up with a living legend in any sport, so I’m jumping at the chance to play alongside The Great One.

While it perhaps puts me in the minority among American sports fans, I still care about hockey. A chance to stroll the fairways and chat with Gretzky about his prolific years in Edmonton and his central role in perhaps the biggest sports trade of the last 30 years would be truly unique. It might require toeing a fine line, but I could perhaps also get some insight into how Dustin Johnson, daughter Paulina’s new beau, acted when meeting he and wife Janet for the first time. Surely that was a rendezvous that goes down in the 'Meet the Parents' Hall of Fame.

Speaking of Janet … even though it would likely earn me little more than a stern glare, I couldn’t miss a chance to ask Wayne if his wife, having been named years ago as the centerpiece of a large sports gambling ring, has any 'locks' for the upcoming season. Worst he could say is no…right?

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Molinari holds off McIlroy to win BMW PGA

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 3:20 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England - Rory McIlroy left his victory charge too late at Wentworth as Francesco Molinari delivered a clinic in front-running to win the BMW PGA Championship by two shots with a 4-under 68 on Sunday.

McIlroy, who led by three shots at halfway, entered the final round tied for the lead with Molinari on 13 under par but a Sunday shootout at the European Tour's flagship event never really materialized.

Instead, as McIlroy toiled to a 70 that was propped up by birdies on the par fives at Nos. 17 and 18, Molinari went bogey-free for a second straight day to claim the fifth victory of his career and the biggest since a World Golf Championship in Shanghai in 2010.

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

The Italian only dropped two shots all week and finished on 17-under 271, with McIlroy alone in second place. Alex Noren (67) and Lucas Bjerregaard (65) were tied for third place a stroke further back.

Molinari moved into the automatic qualifying places for the Ryder Cup, which he hasn't played since 2012 when Europe beat the United States in the so-called ''Miracle at Medinah.''

He'd previously had five top-10 finishes in the last six years at Wentworth, including being runner-up to Noren last year.

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship

Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.