Things went from bad to worse for Phil Mickelson on Saturday at Pebble Beach. First, Mickelson's drive on 18 landed on the beach left of the 18th fairway. While looking for his ball near the water, Mickelson fell on his butt on national television. Then his third shot found the hazard, and he wound up making a triple bogey to make the cut on the number. Check out Phil's spill below.
Category: Pebble Beach
Tiger Woods won't be returning to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am next week after playing in the event last year, according to Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Woods, as expected, will not play in the upcoming AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, scheduled for Feb. 7-10 on the Monterey Peninsula. Tournament director Steve John confirmed Woods’ plans in an e-mail today.
“Much to our disappointment, Tiger will not be playing in the AT&T this year,” John wrote.
Woods returned to the AT&T last year for the first time since 2002. He played well for three days, planting himself in contention, and then faded with a final-round 75 alongside Phil Mickelson (who shot 64 to win).
Woods has not played the West Coast Swing events at both Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach since ’02, so his decision to return to Torrey this month didn’t bode well for Northern California golf fans.
Since Woods's caddie Joe LaCava told reporters that Woods won't be playing the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles ("I tried to talk him into it," LaCava said), the Pebble announcement means that Woods's next start will be at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Feb. 20., an event he's won three times.
Woods is a creature of habit as well as notoriously choosy when it comes to Tour stops, so it appears his addition of Pebble Beach last year might have been a one-time-only appearance. According to the Chronicle, he has had issues with the tournament in the past.
He won the AT&T in 2000, with a memorable Monday comeback, but he soon grew disenchanted with the bumpy poa annua greens. Sketchy weather, long rounds and celebrity-driven crowds probably didn’t help.
Woods never specified why he chose to return last year, but it was widely rumored that he did so to fulfill a corporate obligation to AT&T, a onetime sponsor.
Working for Golf Magazine, I sometimes get the chance to play some really cool golf courses, but nothing will ever top the round I played with my father at Pebble Beach last year [photo, below]. Like many of you, my father introduced me to the game. To be able to play with him on the world's most spectacular golf course was an experience I'll always treasure.
So I'm really glad that Golf Magazine is part of Cleveland Golf's Father/Son Golf Team Classic at Pebble Beach this Feb. 21-24. Our contest to win a spot in the event is over, but you can still enter the four-day tournament, which includes four nights at the Lodge and three rounds of golf, one at Pebble, one at Spanish Bay and one at Bayonet. Yes, it's a big-ticket item ($3,095 to share a room; $4,395 for your own room), but Pebble Beach is a big-ticket kind of place.
For more information on the Father/Son Golf Team Classic at Pebble Beach, visit the official website here.
The Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational, now in its 41st year, is the only event in golf that features players from the PGA, LPGA, Champions and Web.com tours all competing against each other.
The field includes a wide variety of players, including big names like Annika Sorenstam, Fred Funk, Juli Inkster and Jonas Blixt; new pros like Cheyenne Woods and Luke Guthrie; and 324 amateurs, according to the The Herald of Monterey County.
"I'm really looking forward to competing in this year's Callaway Invitational at Pebble Beach," said Sorenstam, who'll have her husband Mike on the bag as caddie. "Callaway has been a wonderful partner of mine for my entire career and now beyond, and the Monterey Peninsula is one of our favorite places to spend time."
The tournament, which uses a tee placement system based on the average length of shots on each tour to give each player a fair chance at the $300,000 purse, will take place Thursday through Sunday at Del Monte, Spyglass and Pebble Beach. There will be a cut after Saturday's round, and the top 40 golfers will advance to a final round at Pebble.
The website PebbleBeachHomeSiteAuction.com is offering a 1.1 acre home site along Pebble Beach Golf Links for auction. With views of the 11th and 12th greens, as well as Carmel Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the site is one of only 34 properties that front the famous Northern California golf course. The price? Bidding starts at $7,950,000.
The purchase of 3418 17-Mile Drive presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a one-of-a-kind, custom home in one of the world’s most elite resort locations. Previously listed at US$12,000,000, the property is being offered at or above US$7,950,000.
This exceptional 1.1 acre home site is one of only 34 properties that directly front the Pebble Beach Golf Links. With 185 feet of golf course frontage, this home site is coming to the market for the second time in 93 years and is the only vacant, ready-to-build parcel on the golf course. Located on scenic 17-Mile Drive, this property has prized views of the 11th and 12th greens, as well as breathtaking views of Carmel Bay, Point Lobos, Carmel Point, and the Pacific Ocean.
The deadline for bids is Friday, May 3, at 5 p.m. Eastern. Viewings of the property are available by appointment; see the website or call 800-516-0014 for more details.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- In Tuesday’s press conference, Tiger Woods was seemingly in good spirits and relaxed as he fielded questions for 30-plus minutes. Asked if Woods was as happy as he seemed, caddie Joe LaCava, who is still on a high after his Giants won the Super Bowl, attributed Woods’s current demeanor to his clean bill of health.
“When you feel good for the first time in a long time, you're obviously going to be happy and feel good about yourself, so I think that's part of it, that he's feeling good and not in any pain,” said LaCava, who was heading out Wednesday to finish mapping some holes on Pebble Beach. "I think that translates into being happy, and so does playing well.”
Perhaps Tiger's positive state of mind has something to do with the people around him these days.
“I think we get along great,” said LaCava, who compared Woods to his longtime boss, Fred Couples. “We talk sports all the time, kind of like Fred. He's a 15-year-younger version of Fred. He loves sports, and that's what we talk about most of the time.”
(Photo: Eric Risberg/AP)
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Dustin Johnson, who had knee surgery in the off-season, hasn’t had the results he’s hoped for so far in 2012, but perhaps the pieces will come together at Pebble Beach, where he has some memorable history.
The 27-year-old won the 2009 and 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and, more famously, suffered an epic collapse at Pebble later that year at the U.S. Open. He started the final round with a three-shot lead, which quickly disappeared when he triple-bogeyed the second hole, double-bogeyed the third and shot 82.
“I always enjoy coming back,” Johnson said in between smashing drivers on the range Tuesday. “Obviously I’ve had a lot of success here, so I always look forward to this week. I have a great partner and a good group, so we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Johnson attributed his stellar record at this event in part to the more relaxed pro-am format.
“We go out there and we have fun,” he said. “You know, I think that’s why I like it. It doesn’t seem like there’s quite as much pressure on you this week, no matter what’s going on. You’ve got your amateur partners with you, and you usually just have a good time, and I just enjoy the atmosphere and these golf courses.”
Johnson is partnered with Joe Rice, an attorney and friend. Kyle Thompson and Nat Hardwick, CEO of Landcastle Title, complete the foursome. It’s no coincidence they’re all South Carolina natives.
After withdrawing from the Humana Challenge due to a stiff back, Johnson, who finished T43 in San Diego and T61 in Phoenix, has been frustrated with his game, especially his putting.
“It’s been a little bit of a process, coming off an injury,” said Johnson. ”I hadn’t been swinging all that well, so it’s been kind of hard to fit me for a driver, but I think we have it pretty dialed in now this week with the new r11S, so I’m excited about that.”
He said his knee is feeling just fine, but he hasn't been walking every day he plays because he doesn’t want to overdo it.
Johnson has also been searching for the answer to his putting woes. He pulled his old faithful Scotty Cameron at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open and replaced it with a TaylorMade Itsy Bitsy Spider Ghost putter. And this week?
“I have a whole bunch of putters,” said Johnson, with a hint of exasperation. “I don’t know which one I’m going with yet."
(Photo: Carlos M. Saavedra/SI)
Fresh off saving the American dream in his inspiring Super Bowl commercial for Chrysler, Clint Eastwood is taking on the challenge of saving golf. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Eastwood will be “creative board chairman” and “founding shareholder” for the Back9 Network, a fledgling golf lifestyle network.
In his new role, Eastwood, 81, will meet with the Back9 brass once per quarter to go over programming and casting choices for the network, which is currently in talks with distributors and is slated to launch later this spring. Back9 executives declined to comment on the nature of those conversations.
“He’ll be a big picture sounding board,” said Back9’s chief executive James Bosworth, who was an assistant pro at Pebble Beach in the mid-1990’s when he first met Eastwood. The pair remained in touch, and continue to play golf together. “It was natural to seek his advice,” Bosworth added, noting that Eastwood, along with his wife Dina, has been consulted and supportive of the Back9 concept since its inception some two years earlier.
“There’s no better guy to go to for a golf media company.”
Eastwood is a longtime golfer who owns Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, Calif., and he is a part-owner of Pebble Beach Golf Links. [Photo: Eastwood waits to tee off at the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach in January 1974. Associated Press]
Gary Player says Rory McIlroy has ‘as much talent as I’ve ever seen’
Nine-time major winner Gary Player said Rory McIlroy is one of the most talented golfers he has ever seen in an interview with Reuters.
"Rory's swing is so magnificent," purred Player, slowing down his voice for emphasis. "He's got as much talent as anybody I've ever seen," the 76-year-old told Reuters in an interview at a Laureus sports awards event at Championship (second division) soccer club Millwall in south London.
Player said the only imponderable about U.S. Open champion McIlroy, 22, was his desire.
"Nobody knows what's inside of the man, how much passion he has," said the nine-times major winner. "Is he prepared to go through the pain barrier?"
Tom Watson’s chip-in at 1982 U.S. Open named best shot in Pebble Beach history
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick lists the top 10 shots in Pebble Beach history, and we don't think he'll get many arguments over his first choice.
1. Tom Watson's chip: This might be the most famous shot in golf history. Watson arrived at the 71st hole of the 1982 U.S. Open tied for the lead with Jack Nicklaus, who already had completed his round. Nicklaus sensed he might win when Watson's tee shot on No. 17 sailed left and settled in thick rough.
The pin was tucked close to that side, so Watson didn't have much room to maneuver. Caddie Bruce Edwards encouraged him to "get it close," prompting Watson to reply, "Get it close? I'm gonna make it!"
He dropped the shot softly onto the green -- and the ball zoomed downhill and into the hole. Watson skipped onto the green in celebration, pointing at Edwards and saying, "I told you!"
"I say what it was: a lucky chip," Watson said in a 2010 interview. "I took dead aim and fortunately it hit the pin and went in.”
Spoiler alert: Kevin Costner did not make the list. [Associated Press photo]
Tweet of the Day
From Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson:
Golf.com's David Dusek live-tweeted Tiger Woods's press conference at Pebble Beach. Read about what Tiger said below.
Tiger says he played Spyglass yesterday and liked how fast the course played.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Tiger on why he is such a good front runner: "if you make a few mistakes it's alright ... Not too often did I shoot over par with the lead."— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Since the FRYS.com, tiger says he's a lot better, health is MUCH better. Can train more, practice as much as he likes. No more ball counts.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Tiger says he is far better at managing his game than he was 10 years ago. As a player, he's adapted.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Why play Pebble this year? Tiger says schedule hasn't fit in the past. Celebrity element makes it different. Can be distracting.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Sunday at Abu Dhabi: "Sunday was my bad day ball striking-wise, and it really wasn't that bad." He's excited about how good his bad day was.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Tiger admits that he gets sore from bending down to pick up the kids. "They're not that tall yet."— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
On Romo: "He's a gifted athlete & one of those guy who can do whatever he wants to do...He understands how to play&can really move the ball"— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Romo was going to be given a +3, but Tiger says, "That's BS". He's psyched Romo will play from the forward tees.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Tiger says coming back from his break before Abu Dhabi and almost winning was big. Longest healthy break in a while. Lots of good practice.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Tiger on belly putters: "I've never fan of it" Talked with Peter Dawson about rewording rules to make guys swing the club.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Tiger says he doesn't appreciate the game more these days, but does appreciate being healthy more.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Asked Tiger about greens. He said his stroke changes, becomes more poppy, even thou he doesn't want it to. Second nature on Poa.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
"When I first came out here, I was the only guy in the gym." Then Vijay started. Tiger says someday golf will get a Bo Jackson.— David Dusek (@DavidDusek) February 7, 2012
Put your next drink on Daniel Chopra’s tab, and make it a double.
In his practice round for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Monday, Chopra aced the par-3 seventh and then aced the par-3 17th. The San Jose Mercury News has the story:
The Swede aced not only the world famous par-3 seventh hole but also the historic 17th in preparation for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which starts Thursday.
According to the National Hole-In-One Registry, the odds of a touring pro making a hole-in-one are 3,000 to 1. The odds of making two aces in the same round are 67 million to 1.
On No. 7, he used a 52 degree wedge from 102 yards. On the 176-yard 17th, site of Tom Watson's chip-in in the 1982 U.S. Open and Jack Nicklaus' 1-iron in the 1972 U.S. Open, Chopra used a 7-iron.
Afterward, Chopra went down the street to play Cypress Point. Yup, it’s good to be a Tour pro.
Man stabbed with club shaft in ‘slow play’ brawl at Texas course
The Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports on a scary brawl at a Fort Worth golf course that left one man “close to death.”
Clay Carpenter, 48, of Springtown said he is recovering from a punctured femoral artery and massive blood loss. He said the brawl broke out when his group of three tried to play through the group in front of them.
"People get in arguments every day on every golf course in America," Carpenter said. "But 99.9 percent of the time no one takes it this far."
According to police spokesman Terry Grisham, the fight started when a threesome on the course thought the foursome in front of them were playing too slow.
The brawl broke out about 3:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Golf Club at the Resort on Eagle Mountain Lake.
Grisham said that a foursome was playing on hole No. 13 and that the three golfers behind them, believing that the four were playing too slow, wanted to play through.
Carpenter said a course marshal instructed the four to allow the three to play through, and that's when the "gentleman's game" turned ugly.
As the golfers were fighting, Carpenter said, he was on top of another man when he was stabbed with the golf club shaft.
Caroline Wozniacki follows Rory McIlroy during Dubai practice round
You know how it is with these power couples. If they want to see each other, they have to meet at the workplace. So tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki joined her boyfriend Rory McIlroy for a practice round Monday at the Dubai Desert Classic. The Daily Mail (UK) has the story:
Rory McIlroy may be fine-tuning his game ahead of an assault on the Dubai Desert Classic this week, but he still found time to pose for a few holiday snaps with the missus.
The Northern Irishman was joined on his practice round at the Emirates Golf Club on Tuesday by girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, the women's world No 4 tennis player.
Sport's golden couple have been spotted together at various locations around the globe in recent months as they try to snatch some time together amid their busy schedules.
(Credit: David Cannon, Getty Images)
Tweet of the Day
Only way to make the patriots defeat feel better.Going to play Augusta National the next 2 days with my dad. Gonna be unreal. #hellofriends— Keegan Bradley (@Keegan_Bradley) February 7, 2012