The 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is underway near Monterrey, Calif. Three courses at Pebble Beach are hosting some of the best American golfers on the PGA Tour as well as noted celebrities. Three golfers are tied for the lead after one round, including amateur Danny Lee.
The event is drawing rave reviews thus far and good weather is helping the venue. Here are five reasons why this year's Pebble Beach Pro-Am rises above other tournaments.
Laid Back Atmosphere
Although the professional golfers at the event can win big bucks and earn FedEx Cup points as part of the official PGA Tour, the event is much more laid back than others. Even though the courses involved are some of the best on the planet, having less pressure to perform against amateur partners may make pros more relaxed.
Nowhere else can you find a sporting event where less than a week ago, a highly-regarded NFL coach just lost his second Super Bowl to the same team in four years. Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, is paired with Ricky Barnes. Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, is fresh off his college national title a month ago. Perhaps the two can confab about their respective seasons and compare notes.
Having actor Bill Murray on hand is always a delight. His irreverent look at golf in the early 1980s made Murray famous as a pretentious groundskeeper battling a gopher in "Caddyshack." Murray actually won the event for the first time in 2011.
Charities benefit from the huge turnout and media coverage. Since 1947, over $85 million has been raised for charities on the Monterrey Peninsula. That alone is enough to hold the tournament every year.
Playing at one of the toughest courses in the United States can have an early gauge on who may be the best golfers on tour this year. A look at the top 25 golfers on the leaderboard can reveal who adapts to different conditions on a daily basis and who can deal with stiff winds. The courses at Pebble Beach are already challenging even without the weather being a factor.
William Browning has covered sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network including golf and local golf courses in southwest Missouri. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.
- Pebble Beach
- PGA Tour
- Bill Murray