A look back at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am legacy

But if ever a sense of pressure could have entered the pro-am picture, it was in 2001 when Phil Mickelson and teammate Kenny G collapsed on the 72nd hole. Lefty needed an eagle to win or a birdie to tie Davis Love III, and a par would seal the team deal. He made a double bogey. Kenny G needed a par net to clinch the tag team title. He made a double bogey.

The tag team title ended in a tie between Tiger Woods (with Jerry Chang) and the Mickelson-Kenny G duo. Imagine leaving people hanging and not continuing the Tiger-Phil playoffs? Then again, the win at AT&T—four days of duds, duds, and mischief—makes the playoffs meaningless.

The pleasure was had.

Do you want a poster to highlight what the tournament is about? Drift towards 1987 and the edge of this priceless real estate which is #16 at Cypress Point.

Jack Lemmon’s tee shot had come to rest in an ice factory on the edge of the cliff, well short of the green. He chose to play there, but first, a safety net. As Lemmon got into position, Clint Eastwood got a hold of Lemmon. Peter Jacobsen, Lemmon’s playing partner, grabbed Eastwood, and Greg Norman, Eastwood’s partner, held onto Jacobsen.

It’s a timeless photo of a real human chain that reinforces the idea that this tournament is less about golf as an individual sport and more about golf as a unifying event.

Consider Lemmon’s 25-year quest that didn’t come to fruition — he never got the cut he so craved.

Consider that Johnny Weissmuller once gave thousands of people what they wanted – his ball stuck in a tree, he climbed up, pulled the ball out and let out a shout of “Tarzan” while hanging from a plugged.

Consider how Crosby once stood so nervously on a 6-by-17 birdie putt – to give his team the lead – that in his choppy pre-shot routine he accidentally tapped the ball backwards, so he now had a 9 footer. for by.

He missed it and Crosby never won his own pro-am. Neither did Lemmon. Weissmuller either. Nor is Eastwood or a parade of other notables. But that’s not the point.

The fact is, they all found boundless joy in this AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where golf is the common ground that can unite even a Catholic priest with a colorful gentleman like “Champagne” Tony. Lema.

When he won at Pebble Beach in 1964, Lema played in heavy rain and wind on the final day when the best score was 73. A final 76 was enough to win, but Lema – who would win four more times this that year, including the Open Championship at the Old Course in St. Andrews – said it was his partner, father John Durkin, who kept him together.

“Father John Durkin’s influence on me definitely helped,” Lema said. “Among other things, I couldn’t swear. Oh, I did once, but he pretended not to hear.

(Yes, it’s the same dad John Durkin who would win the pro-am with Lou Graham, but that partnership was only born out of tragedy – the plane crash in July 1966 that killed Lema, his wife. , the pilot and the co-pilot. )

Lema and Father Durkin played together three times – in 1964, 1965 and 1966 – and although they never won the tag team title, their partnership went beyond the golf course. Father Durkin often said mass at the Old Mission Church in Carmel, and Lema helped as an altar server.

Communion wine and Champagne. A strange combo. Only at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am could they have been mixed so tastefully and beautifully.

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