Golf

Top Stories from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Fred AltvaterContributor IIFebruary 10, 2014

Top Stories from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

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    Jimmy Walker nearly squandered a six-shot lead, but held on to earn his third PGA Tour win of the year.
    Jimmy Walker nearly squandered a six-shot lead, but held on to earn his third PGA Tour win of the year.Eric Risberg/Associated Press

    The 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am had something for everyone. 

    Sports icons, celebrities and Fortune 500 executives were paired with the professionals, just as Bing Crosby envisioned back in 1937, when he started this tournament.

    Clint Eastwood "made someone's day" and saved a life.

    Country singer Jake Owen was a mere hacker by day and talented performer by night.

    Dustin Johnson used his prodigious length to his advantage, Phil Mickelson couldn't make a putt and Jimmy Walker got his third win in just eight starts in the 2013-14 season.

    Even the weather chipped in and made conditions on Saturday difficult.

     

John Daly and Kid Rock Made Quite a Pair

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    John Daly and Kid Rock were paired for three rounds at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
    John Daly and Kid Rock were paired for three rounds at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AmStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    John Daly and Kid Rock made quite a team for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

    Sporting Loudmouth attire and playing to the crowd, both Kid Rock and Daly appeared to enjoy their three rounds together.

    Although Daly has been playing better of late, he posted rounds of 73-79-76 and at 13-over par missed the cut by a wide margin.

    Perhaps Kid Rock's pants were too much of a distraction for Daly on the course. 

D.A. Points Was Disqualified After Friday's Second Round

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    D. A. Points was paired with Condoleezza Rice, but was disqualified after Friday's second round.
    D. A. Points was paired with Condoleezza Rice, but was disqualified after Friday's second round.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    One of the problems big-name golf professionals have with playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is the long, arduous hours each round requires.

    There are long delays at many of the tees, and in the cold, wet conditions normally prevalent for this tournament, muscles can get tight.

    2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am winner D.A. Points and his pro-am partner Condoleezza Rice were facing just that sort of delay at No. 18 during their second round on Friday.

    While waiting on the tee for the fairway to clear, Points pulled a spongy ball from his bag, tucked it under his arm and took some practice swings.

    A fan caught this innocent exercise on video, turned it over to tournament officials and Points was subsequently disqualified from the tournament for violation of Rule 14-3, use of an unusual practice device during the round.

    You have to know the rules to play the game correctly, kids.

     

     

Jake Owen Flew to San Antonio for a Friday Night Concert

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    Country singer Jake Owen was paired with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
    Country singer Jake Owen was paired with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AmChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Country music artist Jake Owen was teamed with 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and he didn't let his day job ruin that opportunity.

    After their second round ended at Monterey Peninsula Golf Course at 3:47 p.m., Owen jumped on a private jet and flew to San Antonio for a 7:30 p.m. concert commitment.

    He made it back to the Monterey Peninsula in plenty of time to make his 10:01 a.m. third-round tee time on Saturday.

    Neither Spieth nor Owen played particularly well, but Owen should get an award for "Most Dedicated Golfer" in the field this week. 

Weather Conditions Were Blustery on the Monterey Peninsula

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    Weather conditions were blustery and cold on Saturday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
    Weather conditions were blustery and cold on Saturday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AmLance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

    Heavy rains delayed play, and cold winds blew across the Monterey Peninsula during the tournament.

    Heavy winds made club selection especially difficult for second shots into the small Pebble Beach greens.

    The par-three No. 7 at Pebble Beach normally plays to slightly over 100 yards but becomes nearly impossible to hit when the winds whip off the ocean.

    Cold and damp conditions also added to the misery during the long five-hour rounds that deter big-name professionals from entering the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

    For most of the United States sitting in their living rooms while temperatures plummet and snow piles up outside, the conditions didn't look all that bad. 

Clint Eastwood Saved a Life at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

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    Clint Eastwood used the Heimlich to save a life.
    Clint Eastwood used the Heimlich to save a life.Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

    Clint Eastwood used the Heimlich maneuver to save a life on Wednesday evening before the tournament. 

    Formerly the mayor of nearby Carmel, Eastwood is the Chairman of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and longtime supporter of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

    He was attending a dinner when AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Tournament Director Steve John started choking on a piece of cheese. Eastwood immediately recognized the problem and performed the Heimlich to successfully dislodge the cheese from John's throat.

    I guess you could say Eastwood made Steve John's day.

     

Jim Renner Makes First Cut of 2013-14 and Earns $580,000

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    Jim Renner made his first cut in five starts this year.
    Jim Renner made his first cut in five starts this year.Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

    Jim Renner is a 30-year-old journeyman professional who has been up and down on the PGA Tour.

    He first qualified for the tour in 2011 but failed to keep his card and plied his trade on the Web.com tour for the past two years.

    He earned a trip back to the big tour this season, but he had missed his first four cuts in the 2013-14 PGA Tour season.

    Renner put together a gutsy five-under par 67 on Sunday at Pebble Beach to move up the leaderboard and eventually finish tied with Dustin Johnson for runner-up and a much-needed $580,000 check.

    He was ranked No. 362 in the Official World Golf Rankings prior to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and No. 212 in the FedEx Cup standings.

    This could be a huge confidence boost for the veteran.

Phil Mickelson Could Not Make a Putt

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    Phil Mickelson's putter let him down last week at Pebble Beach
    Phil Mickelson's putter let him down last week at Pebble BeachLance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

    Phil Mickelson was the highest-ranked golfer in the field this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

    He has won this event on four different occasions. His last win here came as recently as 2012.

    Mickelson started the week strong with a first-round six-under par 66 that put him among the leaders.

    His next two rounds of 73-71 moved him down the leaderboard, and he was eight shots behind the leader at the start of the final round on Sunday. 

    Mickelson consistently found the greens on Sunday, but his putter would not cooperate. He missed several putts from inside 10 feet and finished with a two-over par 74.

    In five starts thus far in the 2013-14 season, Mickelson has yet to post a top-10 finish.

    He will take the next two weeks off and not play again until the Honda Classic in Florida.

Dustin Johnson Made a Run on Sunday at Pebble Beach

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    Dustin Johnson teamed with his future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky.
    Dustin Johnson teamed with his future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky.Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

    Dustin Johnson teamed with his future father-in-law, "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky, in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

    To say Johnson likes Pebble Beach is somewhat of an understatement. He won this event in 2009 and again in 2010.

    He even had the 54-hole lead in the 2010 U.S. Open held at Pebble Beach before his game spiraled out of control and Graeme McDowell went on to win. 

    Johnson's prodigious length off the tee and accurate iron play were a perfect formula for the soft, damp conditions at Pebble Beach on Sunday.

    He fired a final-round six-under par 66, that included three bogeys and lost to Jimmy Walker by a single stroke.

    Johnson is one of the most talented athletes on the PGA Tour. He already has one win and three top-10 finishes in the 2013-14 season. 

     

Jimmy Walker Gets Third Win of 2013-14 Season

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    Jimmy Walker holding the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am trophy
    Jimmy Walker holding the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am trophyAllan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

    It took Jimmy Walker 188 starts on the PGA Tour to capture his first title at the Frys.com, but it has only taken him eight events to win his third tour title.

    His win at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am puts his name among some of golf's elite with three wins at the start of the season. Tiger Woods has done it a few times, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, David Duval and Phil Mickelson are also on the exclusive list.

    Walker is first in the FedEx Cup points race by a wide margin and leads the PGA Tour money list with $3.6 million in total earnings.

    He also leads the Ryder Cup points list and is nearly a lock to make Tom Watson's team later this year.

    Although he began the final round with a six-shot lead, he struggled coming home and won by the narrowest of margins. 

    What will he do for an encore?

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