Let the good times roll at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
The stuff of movies, Clint Eastwood’s dead-eye 25-foot shot brings his team victory at Pebble Beach.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Michael Smyth

The 2018 edition of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tournament began today at 8 a.m. sharp.  For three days, 156 professional golfers, and 156 amateurs from sports, entertainment and business will play in one of the world’s most beautiful settings, the Monterey Peninsula. A lucky few amateurs will achieve the dream of making the final-round cut and playing a fourth round with their professional partner on Sunday.

The week’s charitable festivities began Tuesday with the Chevron Shoot-Out Champions vs Champions, as five past AT&T champions including Dustin Johnson and D.A. Points partnered with champions from the sports world such as Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Houston Astros [pullquote]Crestfallen and bitter, Bill Murray announced that due to poor play he will fire his teammates. He went on to rip Clint Eastwood for adding an LPGA superstar to his squad at the last minute.[/pullquote]pitcher Justin Verlander. Contested just steps from the Lodge at Pebble Beach, it featured a putting exhibition over a course fraught with obstacles, thus leveling the playing field and at times making the professionals appear quite ordinary.

Two-time AT&T Champion Brandt Snedeker had the most trouble with the assorted rocks and branches, and the resulting cacophony of laughter from his fellow contestants and the crowd made for a fun afternoon at unseasonably warm Pebble Beach. Proving it’s sometimes how you start and rather than how you finish, the team of former Barracuda Championship winner Vaughn Taylor and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers won a skin on the first hole and it held up to seal the victory.

On Wednesday, the celebrities took over holes 1, 2, 3, 17, and 18 of the Pebble Beach Golf Links for the 3M Celebrity Challenge. This event, which features celebrity teams playing in an alternate-shot format, has steadily grown over the years and under gorgeous sunny skies huge crowds came out, eventually lining the famed 18th at Pebble Beach 5-deep.

Michael Smyth / Tahoe OnstageAfter a year hiatus, the Eastwood-Murray cup rivalry was renewed for a fourth time. Captain Bill Murray, whose team included actress Kelly Rohrbach, country music star Toby Keith and actor Josh Duhamel, faced off against Captain Clint Eastwood and his team of actor Alfonso Ribiero, country music artist Clay Walker and a local ringer in the name of LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster.

Murray usually commands all of the attention during this five-hole circus of one-liners and laughs, but the ol’ gunslinger Eastwood was the star of the day.  After the first two holes had been tied, Eastwood canned an unlikely 25-footer on Pebble’s 3rd green to break Murray’s heart and ensure yet another tie. The pair of Ribiero and Walker produced the only par at the next hole, in this case the 17th, to capture four holes worth $80,000.

The finishing 18th hole was then tied and a chip-off was used to determine the winner. Murray gained some redemption, knocking one to around 3 feet to secure the remaining $20,000 for his charity. In his greenside interview, carried over the PA system, a mock-despondent Murray declared that none of his teammates would return next year due to their poor play and that Inkster had been added at the last minute, as always, under “Clint’s rules.” The large crowd hung on every word of the deadpan sore loser act and howled with delight during the five-minute tirade. It was  only Wednesday. Can’t wait to see what antics from him are in store for this week.

The real golf begins today with a marquee field of pros, including the aforementioned Tuesday participants as well as Jordan Spieth, John Rahm, Rory McIlroy, and Phil Mickelson. Recent Barracuda Championship winners Greg Chalmers, Gary Woodland and 2017 Champ Chris Stroud.

Featured celebrities include some of Tahoe’s American Century Championship regulars: Cole Ford, Darius Rucker, Joe Don Rooney, Tony Romo, Ray Romano and Carson Daly, with Pat Monahan of Train making his first appearance.

Should be a fantastic week of great and not-so-great golf with ridiculously good weather, especially for AT&T week. Check back Friday for a recap of what went down in round one.

– Michael Smyth

Tahoe Onstage / Michael Smyth
Actress Kelly Rohrbach reacts after an errant chip shot at Pebble Beach.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
“It’s in the hole!” Bill Murray tees off with an iron.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
Challenging conditions in Monterey forced some competitors to wear sunblock.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
Kelly Rohrbach is forced to use an unorthodox putting style.
Michael Smyth
Vaughan Taylor uses a pool-table technique on the green.

ABOUT Michael Smyth

Michael Smyth
Michael Smyth moved to Reno in 2007 after living more than 40 years in the Bay Area. In addition to going to live shows, he enjoys golf, skiing and fly-fishing. Check out his website https://michaelsmythmedia.com/


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