The Real Stars of the AT&T Pebble Beach National 2011

The AT&T National at Pebble Beach is as much charity and pageantry as it is a tournament in a true sense. With a purse of over six million dollars and the winner receiving well over a million dollars it is difficult to ignore.

In 2011 you will see the same breathtaking courses played as last year. This includes a round at each: Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club before the final round is played once again at Pebble Beach. That should really read weather permitting as nearly half of the U.S. based tournaments this year have finished with less than 72 holes played and at the writing of this piece half of Texas is under snow. Clearly anything goes, and that often extends to the Celebrity amateurs who take part in the tournament.

Andy Garcia

Bill Murray, the star of Caddyshack, is as always the crowd favorite, and quite a golfer in his own right. It’s fitting that he is one of the stars in a tournament that has featured so many great entertainers. Besides, we’re guessing Bill Murray is the only person making the rounds this week who has been charged with drunk driving in a golf cart. (Later dropped by Swedish police). In addition, to Mr. Murray expect various other celebrities of entertainment and sport including: Kevin Costner, Ray Romano, Superbowl Champion QB Drew Brees, boxer Oscar de La Hoya, and professional surfer Kelly Slater amongst others.

Obviously this is a tour event and the professionals will fill a field as strong as any outside of Augusta. The final round includes, following the cut, the top 60 professionals as well as the top 25 pro-am teams. While Tiger Woods will not be among those playing, Phil Mickelson heads a field that will include Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, the fan favorite, big swinging Rocco Mediate and a multitude of major tournament winners.

Whoever wins, the real winners are the charities that participate and are benefited by this event, as well as the crowd. The crowd this year will have reduced ticket costs as well as specially designed areas for mobile phone use and for those with smart phones they will be able to follow the action on the Internet as long as they turn their phones to silent and refrain from using their mobile’s camera.

But face it great golf will come later in the season this is pure fun. One tournament features a player representing the Jack Daniel’s Country Club, the late friend of the founder Bing Crosby. Peter Harris.

Even the television announcers get into the fun. Most famously when in 1969, ABC’s Jim McKay told a nationwide television audience:

“And now here’s Jack Lemmon, about to hit that all-important eighth shot.”

With the crazy snows throughout the US perhaps the most fitting line for next week may have been the line spoken by club pro Jimmy Demarest when he said:

“I knew I got loaded last night, but how did I wind up at Squaw Valley?”

It’s going to be fun. Oh, and there will be some golf too!

By the way, did we mention that Pebble Beach is the most overrated golf course in the US?

Images by: thegordons, djp3000, eastscene, alterna2, jurvetson
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AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 2011: Overview and Predictions « Gorilla Golf Blog February 18, 2011

[…] the real stars have played, the professionals start their rounds of the PGA Tour at Pebble Beach on the 10th of February 2011. […]

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