One week each February, our “On the Water” columnist travels to Pebble Beach to volunteer at the AT&T Pro-Am and writes an “On the Green” column.
It was a great four-day weekend with top PGA golfers, celebrities, business titans and a host of volunteers from around the world.
At the start of the tournament, Patrick Cantlay of Long Beach was the 15-2 favorite in Caesars Sportsbook’s final golf odds. He tied with Troy Merritt for fourth place, each taking home $391,500 in prize money.
The total purse for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is $8.7 million. Winner Tom Hoge took home $1.566 million, second place Jordan Spieth $948,300, and third place Beau Hossler $600,300.
Each foursome plays with two professional golfers and two amateurs. Cantlay’s amateur partner this week was Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, and they were paired with Fresno native Kevin Chappell and PGA Tour Chairman Edward Herlihy for the first three rounds.
Thursday they played at Shore Course at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Friday at Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Saturday at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
At the day one press conference, Long Beach native Patrick Cantlay was asked, “How do you define when you say California golf, what does that mean to you?”
“I would say mostly traditional greens with a very steep back-to-front slope. Poa annua greens and in general the properties are more condensed. There’s less real estate so I feel like the properties are a bit older in general and that’s just the golf I played growing up in junior golf,” the champion replied. the FedEx Cup and world No. 4.
Poa annua greens are a bluegrass found in municipal and private yards in Long Beach.
The Servite High School graduate went on to say, “So I grew up at Virginia Country Club (VCC), which is a very old golf course and so every time I’m on poa annua greens on a course like Pebble Beach, it feels like I’ve played courses like this all my life.
VCC was incorporated in 1909, a decade before Pebble Beach. The original building resembled the Lodge at Pebble; both had the same striped canopies. (The club was originally located on what has since become the municipal golf course at the “Big Rec” Recreation Park.)
PGA Tour members Paul Goydos and John Merrick both grew up at Big Rec, and the course was featured in John Feinstein’s book “A Good Walk Spoiled,” which had a chapter on Goydos, according to the PGA website. city.
There is a strong connection between VCC and Pebble Beach and it is more than grass.
According to the VCC website, like many California golf clubs, it was started by property owners and hoteliers working together to bring people to their cities and resorts. Virginia hotel manager and avid golfer Carl Stanley led the committee to find a location for a country club and golf courses.
When Stanley left Long Beach, he was to become the longtime manager of the Del Monte Hotel, which he remained in charge of from 1915 to 1941, spawning the Pebble Beach Golf Courses and other Del Monte golf courses. Properties, according to the Golf Historical Society.
One of my favorite takeaways of the week came from Daniel Berger, the 2021 champion who retired due to a back injury. A four-time touring winner, Berger shared with a bunch of us that he still uses the TaylorMade MC irons he fell in love with when they first came out in 2011 while in high school. Turns out he buys used sets of his favorites online.
“I had to look on eBay, but now I have four or five save games, so I’m good to go. A lot of young guys want the new stuff, I like the old stuff.
Berger just took “thrift” to a whole new level.
The best part of the whole weekend is knowing how much will help the local community. The Monterey Peninsula Foundation is the nonprofit organization that organizes the annual Pro-Am and has supported hundreds of nonprofit organizations since this event since 1947. This year, total charitable contributions reached $200 million .
Not bad for a tournament played on poa annua greens.