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AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - February 06, 2006
AT&T PEBBLE BEACH NATIONAL PRO-AM Pebble Beach, CA 2005 Champion: Phil Mickelson (269, -19) Purse: $5,400,000 Winner: $972,000
Ten of the last 11 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am winners have been former Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup members, including Phil Mickelson, who won last year’s tournament by four strokes. The list of winners since 1994 includes Johnny Miller, Peter Jacobsen, Mark O’Meara, Mickelson (twice), Payne Stewart, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III (twice) and Vijay Singh.
Only Matt Gogel, the winner in 2002, has not represented his country in either of the two team events. Poor weather caused the cancellation of the 1996 tournament.
This is the second consecutive week Mickelson will defend one of his 2005 titles. Last year at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Club and Poppy Hills Golf Club, Mickelson led wire to wire after opening with a course-record, 10-under 62 at Spyglass. He took a seven-stroke lead into the final round before outlasting Mike Weir.
A week ago, Mickelson tied for seventh in defense of his FBR Open title.
With his win last week at the FBR Open, J.B. Holmes became the first player to win the Qualifying Tournament and then win on TOUR the next season since Mike Weir won the 1998 Q-School and the 1999 Air Canada Championship. The last rookie to perform the feat was Woody Austin who won the 1994 Q-School and the 1995 Buick Open.
The last player to win his first TOUR event by more strokes than J.B. Holmes did (7 strokes) was Jose Maria Olazabal who won the 1990 NEC World Series of Golf by 12.
You probably should not expect a playoff this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The last playoff at the event came in 1992. Only THE PLAYERS Championship (last playoff in 1987) has gone longer without extra holes being needed.
Who to look for this week? How about Vijay Singh who has five Top-10 finishes at the AT&T in his last seven starts. Or Davis Love III who has won two of the last five Pebble Beach events. Or maybe defending champ Phil Mickelson who is 31-under in his last two starts at Pebble. Finally, how about Mike Weir? He has five Top-10 finishes in his last six starts at Pebble and was the runner-up last year.
If you win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am you join a very distinguished list. Among the winners of this tournament are 15 World Golf Hall of Fame members and a 16th, Vijay Singh, who will be inducted this fall.
Talk about vaulting up in the Official World Golf Ranking. J.B. Holmes began the season with no ranking and is now 77th. Henrik Bjornstad began the year 909th on the list and is now 362nd while Nathan Green has climbed from 347th to 140th.
The Class of 2005 is off to a nice start with four players — Nathan Green, Camilo Villegas, Bubba Watson and Shane Bertsch — all among the Top 40 money winners on the PGA TOUR.
Former Nationwide Tour players occupy 28 spots on the PGA TOUR’s All-Time Career Money List, including three of the Top 10 players—Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and David Toms.
This year’s Nationwide Tour membership includes players who have won in at least 28 countries around the world.
Loren Roberts will be looking to become the first player in Champions Tour history to win the first three events of the year when he tees it up next week at The ACE Group Classic in Naples, FL.
More on Roberts: In his two starts this year, Roberts has recorded 40 birdies in his first 108 holes.
Tom Watson will be looking for his breakthrough win at The ACE Group Classic — he has been second or tied for second four times in six tries. In fact, he’s never won in Florida after 90 tournaments on the PGA TOUR or Champions Tour.