The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is one of this week’s stop on the PGA Tour. Defending champion Phil Mickelson will be looking to make it back to back wins at this tournament as well as racking up two wins in a row on the 2013 season. Mickelson ran away with the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week, coming just short of several PGA scoring records.
Pebble Beach brings out some of the more amateur golf personalities, none of whom get more attention than last Bill Murray. Despite the fact that it’s been over three decades since Murray played the iconic role of Carl Spackler in the movie Caddyshack, he is still an avid golfer, and a pretty good one in his own right. Murray will once again team up with D.A. Points for the first three rounds of the tournament. This duo won the amateur portion of the tournament last year.
There are certainly some other pro-am pairings of note. One that grabbed my attention is the team of Dustin Johnson and Wayne Gretzky. This twosome generally wouldn’t garner much press, but the fact that Johnson is dating The Great One’s daughter, Paulina, adds an interesting subplot. Scratch golfer Tony Romo is playing with Jordan Spieth while Jason Bohn will be playing alongside Condoleezza Rice. Former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker (a nine handicap) will be teeing it up with Jim Furyk.
Personally, I think the amateur portion of this tournament adds to the mystique. The fact that one of the most popular tournaments of the year, played at such a magnificent location, is chock full of amateurs is great for the game. While there are plenty of shenanigans that take place, everyone involved also takes the golf seriously. Sure, the amateurs are going to let their hair down a little bit, but the vast majority of them also want to show off their skills.
My pick for the week is Phil Mickelson. We will find out early in the first round if he is still playing at the high level he did last week. If that’s the case, he’s sure to be near the top of the leaderboard when Sunday afternoon rolls around.