Last year it was the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Apparently they dropped the National from the name because they’re unpatriotic! I’m guessing when #trump wins the election this year, “National” will have to be in every PGA Tour event name.
This week’s event is at one of the most famous courses in the world. Somewhere between San Francisco and LA, it’s the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Here’s what to watch for.
Here’s a little background music while you read:
Surprisingly Decent Field
Spieth, Day, Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Phil, and Bubba are all playing this week. I actually just sat here for a minute deciding whether or not I wanted to include fan favorite Patrick Reed in this list. I settled on not putting him in the original list of “top players”. Just mentioning him here, in a slightly diminished role would be enough.
Time for a more general point. A common thought about the PGA Tour is that anybody can win on a given week. This is true to some extent; You will see unproven winners pop up from time to time. But for the most part, the guys that win are really good, and consistently finish at the top of leaderboards. Bold prediction time, out of Spieth, Day, Sneds, DJ, and Walker, at least 4 out of the 5 will finish inside the top 25. Feel free to call me out if I’m wrong on that.
Just like the Career Builder a couple weeks ago, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is, wait for it, a Pro-Am! The difference between Career Builder and AT&T is that AT&T actually has famous people as their amateurs. Career Builder just had rich people. The AT&T has rich celebs, people you’d recognize.
This’ll actually be an issue even on Saturday. Usually telecasts of the first two days are smattering of players and shots, not really focusing on much in particular. Saturday rolls around and there are guys in the lead, and people moving up the leaderboard. Because of the 3 day cut however, the Saturday broadcast this week will be heavily focused on the celebs. The tee times for the amateurs are such that the most famous people are on Pebble Beach on Saturday, and they’re usually stopped after teeing off on 17 to do interviews.
Old man grumpy me is annoyed that the networks are going to play up the fact there are famous people playing in the tournament. More reasonable me realizes that it’s not the end of the world, and since this is the end of the Pro-Am tournaments for a year, I can suck it up and deal. Also, I’ll get to see Aaron!
Other notable celebs include, Jake Owen (if you were wondering why I had you listen to a Jake Owen song, it’s cause he’s playing), Jim Harbaugh, Bill Murray, Justin Timberlake (now I realize I could have put an N*SYNC song at the top. Oops), and Larry Fitzgerald.
Pebble Beach Golf Links
The main attraction of the week. The course you’ve played a million times on some golf video game for N64. Arguably the most recognizable course in the world (along with Augusta National) by people who haven’t stepped foot on the grounds. It’s the course that Tiger Won the US Open at by about 50 shots. It hosted the US Open in 2010, won by Graeme McDowell in a cardigan. You know the course, I don’t have to explain any more.
Disclaimer: If you’re a big fan of Bill Murray, you might not want to read any further…
Moving up the coast of California, the PGA Tour finds itself this week at one of the most recognizable courses not only on tour, but in the world — Pebble Beach Golf Links and the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am. For those unfamiliar with this tournament, here’s a quick list of things to watch for this week:
- Bill Murray’s mutton chops
- Kenny G, who is pretty good at golf, turns out
- Jake Owen, of bro country music fame
- Clint Eastwood, the Mayor of Carmel
- A bunch of other really rich dudes you’ve never heard of who want to play in a PGA Tour event
- Six and a half hour long rounds
- Interviews with famous of people just after they tee off on the 17th hole, making those six and a half hour rounds even longer than they have to be
- TV shots of people walking their dogs on the beach below the golf course before they cut to commercial
As the title of the tournament suggests, AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am is a pro-am for the entire duration of the tournament, rather than just the normal Wednesday of a tournament week. This leads to a few differences in format from the “normal” four round event.