|AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - February 09, 2009
AT&T PEBBLE BEACH NATIONAL PRO-AM
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, CA
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 6,874
Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 6,953
Poppy Hills Golf Club
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 6,944
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $6,100,000Winner: $1,098,000
2008 Champion: Steve Lowery (278, -10)
Lowery Ended Winless Drought
with AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Win
Steve Lowery, a three-time PGA TOUR winner, who endured six years between his first and second TOUR titles, waited another eight years before he picked up his third victory. That came last year at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Lowery entered the final round three strokes behind the leader, forced a playoff with Vijay Singh and then outdueled the Fijian with a birdie on the first playoff hole, the 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
This venerable tournament, that welcomes celebrities from the sports and entertainment worlds who play alongside PGA TOUR professionals, will be held at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill Golf Club and Poppy Hills Golf Club. Singh, who won the event in 2004, returns to the TOUR after undergoing arthroscopic right-knee surgery in mid-January to repair a torn meniscus. It will be his second start of 2009.
Meanwhile, Lowery, who qualified for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup a year ago, comes into the week 86th in the FedExCup points standings, with a tie for 24th at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the TOUR’s season-opener, his best finish.
AT&T Pebble Beach
National Invitational Notes
Jim Furyk, a 13-time winner on the PGA TOUR, returns after a 2008 season in which he led the TOUR with nine top-10 finishes but failed to get a win for the first time since the 2004 season. Furyk will be making his 13th appearance at this event, having missed the cut just once. The best of his four top-10 finishes was a third-place showing in 1998.
Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, has enjoyed great success at this event, with five top-three finishes in 13 appearances. Mickelson had eight top-10 performances in 2008, including victories at the Northern Trust Open and the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Mickelson is trying to become the second player to win the event four or more times (Mark O’Meara has five wins).
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is one of four TOUR events Phil Mickelson has won three or more times. The list includes the BellSouth Classic (2000, 2005-06), Buick Invitational (1993, 2000-01), Chrysler Classic of Tucson (1991, 1995-96) and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (1998, 2005, 2007). Mickelson’s five-stroke victory in 2007 equaled a tournament record for victory margin, matching Lloyd Mangrum (1948), Cary Middlecoff (1956), Jack Nicklaus (1967), Fuzzy Zoeller (1986) and Arron Oberholser (2006).
After losing to Steve Lowery in a playoff at last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Vijay Singh bounced back with a stellar season that included victories at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship. His consecutive victories in the first two events of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup helped the 45-year-old win the 2008 FedExCup. Singh’s appearance at Pebble Beach will be his first tournament since having knee surgery following the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship. Singh has seven top-10 finishes in 14 appearances at Pebble Beach, including his 2004 victory and runner-up finishes in 2000, 2001 and 2008.
Prior to his victory last year, Steve Lowery was playing in 2008 on a Minor Medical Extension after suffering a wrist injury in 2007. With his win, he is now exempt through 2010. Lowery is seeking to become sixth player to successfully defend a title at the tournament. Those who have won in back-to-back seasons are Mark O’Meara (1989-90), Tom Watson (1977-78), Jack Nicklaus (1972-73), Cary Middlecoff (1955-56) and Sam Snead (1937-38).
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem is playing in the tournament this week, with partner Davis Love III. Also in the foursome is AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, playing with Hunter Mahan.