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What a Day at Pebble Beach

February 13, 2011 - Al Stephenson
As the ball trickled toward the hole and finally dropped over the edge, yours truly sat on the sofa and raised my arms triumphantly in the air. The shot was struck on the difficult 14th hole at Pebble Beach, a beast of a par-5 from 100 yards out. It came off the club of one D.A. Points, and believe it or not, it was not Points I was rooting for. I'm guessing that I was not alone.

The Pebble Beach Pro-Am is one of the most fun tournaments on tour. It helps that it is played on one of the greatest golf courses ever created. I don't think there is a more beautiful vista in the world. You can watch dogs running on the beach as well as whales, seals, and otters frolicking offshore. The area is just gorgeous. I've been there twice and the next time I go I want to play the course.

That may never happen, but it sure was fun to watch Darren Andrew Points hole out that eagle shot. On the next hole he dropped a thirty foot birdie putt that broke about 10 feet. It was then that I thought my hope would come to pass. It gave Points the lead in the tournament, but his winning the event was not uppermost in my mind. You see, Points playing partner in the pro-am competition was none other than actor Bill Murray.

Murray has been a fixture at the event, and though he is not a bad golfer, he is there primarily for his comedic entertainment value. He plays to the crowd and for some pro golfers, he would not be their choice for a partner. Points however, thought it was the perfect pairing. It would seem that he was correct. Points won the tournament at -15, while the twosome won the pro-am at -35.

The win meant a lot to Points as he collected a winner's check of some $1,134,000, received an invite to this year's Master's and gets a two year exemption on tour. Not bad forhis first victory in 128 starts on tour. All of this and his individual win was still almost dwarfed by the victory for the ever popular Murray.

I must admit that I have an affinity for Bill Murray for another reason. He is one of the owners of the Charleston RiverDogs minor league baseball team. My daughter did an internship for the RiverDogs in 2009 and ran into Murray on a few occasions. Her first introduction to him came on a golf course. The RiverDogs had a charity golf tournament that he participated in and my daughter worked. She was assigned to a par-3 and she says that his schtick at Pebble is not acting. He is a fun loving man and makes everyone around him laugh. He is also a pretty fair country golfer.

The view from my seat suggests I like anyone who can have fun on a golf course. It's a game and should be fun. Congratulations to Bill Murray and D.A. Points for giving me a Sunday afternoon of TV watching that I won't soon forget.


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