This year's Pebble Beach Pro-Am had to battle with the Daytona 500, the Winter Olympics and the NBA All-Star festivities, but it still came down to the wire at the most beautiful course in the world. Who were among the rips and shanks from this week? Read on, good sirs and madams.
Dustin Johnson: He is the youngest man since Tiger Woods to repeat at an event. He is the first guy since Tiger Woods to win at least once in his first three years on tour. He made three eagles over the weekend and overcame a bogey on the 17th with a birdie on the par-5 18th with a nifty little bunker shot to three feet. He also lead the field in driving distance, and was 11-under on the par-5s. Johnson opened with a 64 on Pebble Beach, with two pars on par-5s ... do you think he's ready for the U.S. Open?
David Duval: The bad news? He didn't win, and continues to try and claim hardware for the first time since his the 2001 British Open. The good news? He didn't lose this, Johnson won it, and he closed with a 3-under 69 to give him a shot. His golf swing looked great, his swagger was back and we can only hope that this is just a sign of good things to come for Duval.
J.B. Holmes: He had the shot of the week on Thursday at Pebble on the always difficult par-4 8th when he spun his second shot back in the hole, and even though Holmes missed some short ones, he still was t-14 in putts per round, a stat that will continue to vault him up leaderboards if he can keep it that high. This was his second straight top-3 finish, and with the Waste Management Open looming, an event Holmes has won twice, you might just see him on another Ryder Cup team come October.
Tim Clark: He still can't win, but card another top-10 for the South African. If he keeps up this consistency, that goose egg in the wins column will disappear.
The 18th Hole: It should be a rule that every tournament course ends on a par-5. We saw it at Torrey Pines, we get it at Pebble Beach, and it is never disappointing. One hole to go, all tied up, Johnson had a chance to go at the par-5 in two, and was able to make a four to win it. From Phil Mickelson's second shot in the ocean to a simple up and down from the bunker, it's one of the best golf holes ever made.
Paul Goydos: At one point during the telecast, one of the announcers remarked that if Goydos could make a few birdies coming in, he'd pull away from the field. It appears Goydos took that advice as, "go bogey-bogey-birdie-quadruple-bogey." To be fair to Goydos, the quadruple wasn't as much his fault as it was ...
The 14th Hole: Was this pin position for real? Seriously? That is legal? Goydos made a nine on the hole, and it honestly could have been worse. Molder made the same score. Not a single person in the top 15 made a birdie on the hole, and played it a combined 10-over par on Sunday. Par-5s are supposed to be fun and exciting, not suicidal.
Phil Mickelson: This was supposed to be his year. Lefty would show up during the Tiger zoo and take the golf world by storm, winning with his new swing and putting stroke and great finish to '09. Sadly, it hasn't transpired, and this was another week where it just didn't seem to click. Is a tie for 8th a bad finish? Absolutely not. Is it when the expectations were as high as they were with Phil? Absolutely.
Notah Begay III: On Thursday at Pebble, Begay was 5-under through seven holes and sneaking to the top of the leaderboard. His next 47 holes? 14-over par, with three double bogeys and a dead last finish.
Hunter Mahan: When Mahan won the Travelers Championship in 2007, we all assumed it would be the start of good things. He was young, talented and fun to watch, all the ingredients golf scribes like myself love in a player. Only, he didn't keep winning, and has struggled since the U.S. Open last year. So far this season he has finished 27th at the Farmers Insurance Open, missed the cut at the Northern Trust but came into Sunday at Pebble with a chance for a high finish. That was curbed when he double-bogeyed both par-5s on the front, shot hockey sticks and ended in 64th place. All this while a younger version of Mahan won his third event in three seasons.
- Pebble Beach
- Tiger Woods