Lucky Number 44
No matter how fast Phil got that big body moving between the greens and tee boxes on the back nine there just wasn’t enough time to finish the final round on Sunday and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am had to wait until Monday morning to crown its champion. In somewhat of an underwhelming finish, Phil Mickelson captured his 5th win at Pebble Beach and his 44th win of his career. Phil started the day three shots back of 54-hole leader Paul Casey but cruised past him with the low round of the day, while Casey struggled with the cold weather conditions.
It should be mentioned that Paul Casey is now dead to Phil after that stunt of using complete common sense and electing to stop playing in pitch dark conditions instead of finishing the last 2 holes like Phil wanted to do. The 2nd best interaction (see the last paragraph for the first best) on Sunday was when the announcers, Paul Casey, Paul’s caddy, the PGA rules official, Casey’s amateur partner, and everyone in the gallery were commenting how dark it was and Phil walks up to the rules official and says I can see fine. This was after Phil was overheard saying he had 20/80 vision while walking up the 16th fairway.
Anyways, for winning the tournament Phil took home just over $1.3 million and a weirdly shaped crystal trophy. I don’t know what other people think but I think it is high time the PGA tour puts a limit on the crystal trophies. It seems like every second week the winner is hoisting a crystal trophy. Maybe that is why the Players changed its trophy this year, to get away from being just another tournament with a crystal trophy.
I already touched on how Paul Casey sputtered to a solo second finish. Casey is known to have back problems and as the round went on his swing was getting shorter and shorter on Sunday. On hole 16 he barely took the club back. It is no wonder he wanted to get off that course. Guy was seized right up.
Friend of the pod and contender for DTG interview of the year Scott “Scooter” Stallings finished in 3rd place. This has to be a confidence boost for a guy going through some pretty big overhauls to his lifestyle and work regimen. Jason Day was again quietly tied for 4th. This is looking like a year where Jason Day gets a second major if he can stay healthy. Si Woo Kim also finished tied for 4th with Day. Keep cashing those cheques Si Woo because one of these days the army is going to come calling.
Scott Langley finished 6th?? Kevin Streelman, Brian Gay and Lucas Glover all finished tied for 7th -which is pretty amazing considering Lucas was probably beaten within an inch of his life last week #prayforlucas and Brian Gay overcame taking off and putting on his vest every time he shot on Sunday. I mean Gay only shot minus 1 on Sunday so maybe he should have picked one and stuck with it, but still two impressive finishes all things considered.
Max Homa (who was added to this tournament late after some guys dropped out) finished T10 and is likely going to jump up from his 718 OWGR. No word on where Bronel has him. Chris Stroud has back to back top 10s in the last two tournaments. The sky is the limit for this up and coming…….oh he is 37 and been on tour for 12 years? Keep grinding Chris! Scott Piercy is probably kicking himself that he decided to finish 18 in the dark last night. His bogey cost him about $25k on the pay cheque he will be getting. Michael Thompson also finished in that group at T10 after birdieing two of his last 3 holes just to make the cut on Saturday.
There was 8 Canadians in the field this week and it was a bit of a mixed bag for results. Adam Hadwin finished tied for 18th in a week where he is probably left wondering what could have been. Hadwin only had one really good round and the others were pretty average with a pair of 72s and a 70. Nick Taylor finished tied for 28th. I guess he got back to practicing golf and not playing Mario Kart. Ben Silverman ho hummed his way to a T45 finish. Not sure you know this Ben but the $25K you won this week will buy you a pretty sweet fully loaded Honda Odyssey.
Mac Hughes, Adam Svensson, Corey Conners all missed the cut. Conners must be in the low point of his peaks and valleys consistency approach to golf. While Mac and Svensson have been playing a lot of golf lately so they were bound to miss a cut sooner or later. Hopefully all three bounce back in their next tournament. David Hearn and Roger Sloan missed the cut in epic fashion shooting +11 and +13 respectively. How does the saying from The Mighty Ducks go? It’s not worth losing if you don’t lose big? No, that’s not it. Anyways back to the drawing board guys and come out hot next time.
Some of the other notable finishes this week included: A large group of notable guys in 14th place. Jim Furyk turned back the clock for a solid finish this week. Sung Kang might be the world’s best cheater at golf or maybe he is just good at the game- jury is still out. Matt Every and his balaclava finished T14 – try playing golf in Canada Matt. I think it is safe to say Graeme McDowell wishes every event was played at Pebble – the 2010 US Open winner finished T18 which is his best finish in A WHILE (Update: he finished T11 at the RSM Classis).
Matt Kuchar finished tied for 22nd and continues to lead the FedEx cup race. If Kooch holds on to win the Fedex cup, DTG deserves at as much as his caddie got at the Mayakoba classic. Just when you think Jordan Spieth has figured this game out, he goes and shoots a combined 5 over on the weekend to fall all the way to 45th. Dustin Johnson who had to be battling jet lag from a flight he partied the whole way home on after winning in Saudi Arabia also finished 45th. European fan favorite Tommy Fleetwood also finished 45th. Popular spot for some of the games big names this week.
Adam Scott got bit with the dreaded MDF cut this week; I am not sure how it works this week when it was a 3-round cut. However they sorted it out, Scott was on the wrong end. Anders Albertson with another missed cut. Is he playing bad or is the PGA trying to get us to forget about him? Stay woke. The coveted thanks for coming out award goes to Steve Jones. The 60-year-old Jones finished pretty much exactly how you would expect a 60-year-old to finish in a PGA event – dead last and carded an 83 in the second round. A round in the 80s is definitely a way to get noticed for this award.
We’re On To Riviera
I am sure some of you are saying this was a Pro Am and you didn’t mention the amateurs once in the recap. There are two reasons for that: 1. It’s my blog so I can do what I want and 2. There wasn’t much newsworthy stuff out of the amateurs this week. Tony Romo hit a shot from the gallery and then withdrew from the tournament, Bill Murray did Bill Murray things, FOTP David Dube had a respectable showing and some Patriots fan won. The amateur that stole the show was the one in the booth.
Clint Eastwood showed up Sunday and man did he put on a show. (this is best interaction moment I mentioned above) From dragging the Grammy’s on live television, to saying in the nicest way possible there is a snowball’s chance in hell he was waking up to join for the early morning coverage on Monday, to the 35 second time lapse where someone unplugged his power cord and he shut down. Either way, Clint was a hit. Next week the PGA Tour is off to the Genesis Open at Riviera with some big names set to play. Congrats one more time to Phil and I will see you guys next week.