Pebble Beach: A love story

JON MCCARTHY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:04 PM ET

“If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach”

— Jack Nicklaus

As North American golfers we admire St. Andrews in Scotland for its history and we respect that the roots of the game can still be felt there, but we love Pebble Beach.

Our apologies to Old Tom Morris... but admiration and respect have got nothing on love.

Looking at the Monterey Peninsula on a map it’s hard to believe it even exists. A million years in the making, this stretch of California’s rocky coastline is American golf’s sacred land.

Beautiful to the point of distraction, Pebble Beach Golf Links should be at or near the top of every golfer’s bucket list.

But watching Tiger Woods’ 2012 PGA Tour debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this weekend will not be easy.

Remember guys, you spent a solid 10 hours last Sunday with your ass glued to the couch screaming for more nachos. Convincing your wife or girlfriend to let you spend the first Sunday after the Super Bowl in front of the TV is no small task.

Don’t worry though, we’ve got a strategy.

Attempt 1: Play the Tiger card

YOU: “This is Tiger’s first tournament of the year. I’ve been waiting months for this weekend.”

WIFE: “Liar! You were up at 3 a.m. last weekend watching Tiger play in some Yabba-Dabba-Doo Open.

YOU: “That was Abu-Dhabi and it’s not an official PGA Tour stop, so it doesn’t really count.”

Attempt 2: Play up the beauty of the land.

YOU: “Honey, look at that beach! We should think about going to California. Just the two of us. How many years until the kids leave for university?”

WIFE: “We have one daughter and she is in pre-school you jackass.”

Attempt 3: Entertainment Tonight meets golf

YOU: “I don’t know which celebrity I’m more excited to see — that guy from Without a Trace, that guy from Transformers or Tony Romo?

WIFE: “There are celebrities in this? Really? Oh, look it’s (insert some guy you have never heard of here).

YOU: I love him! He was so good in that movie with Hugh Grant.

WIFE: Look, there’s Raymond!

YOU: Everybody loves Raymond. Oh, did I just say that? Ha, ha, ha. C’mon, sit down on the couch. This is so fun.

And the winner is... YOU!

WEIR BACK AT IT

Mike Weir makes his 2012 debut this week and golf fans across Canada have their fingers crossed he will give them something to cheer about.

Coming off elbow surgery, the World No. 1,033 has a long road ahead to get back to top form but the first step is to stay healthy and play some tournaments.

The playing some tournaments part might be tougher than expected. Weir recently was denied a spot as a sponsor’s exemption at next week’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera.

As a two-time winner of the event, Weir had to be surprised at the snubbing. Tournament directors award sponsor’s exemptions to draw larger audiences to their event. Unfortunately, Weir’s popularity and name recognition is not what it once was outside of Canada. As a repeat winner of the event one might expect he would get thrown a bone but it’s a bit of a stretch to expect Weir to boost ticket sales or TV ratings.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?

Daniel Chopra accomplished the rarest of rare feats during a practice round at Pebble Beach on Monday. The two-time PGA Tour winner had two hole-in-ones during the same round. Chopra aced the par-3 seventh hole with a wedge and then stepped up to the par-3 17th hole and holed a 7-iron.

The two hole-in-ones were the 14th and 15th of the Swede’s career.

TEES AND BALL-MARKERS

Huh? John who? No, John Huh. If you haven’t seen PGA Tour rookie John Huh’s golf swing yet, watch for it. The Q-School grad who made the jump to the PGA without ever playing on the Nationwide Tour has a T6 and a T12 finish over the past two weeks. His silky smooth swing will be getting more and more media attention as the weeks go on … There has been some criticism about the TV broadcast of last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open frequently showing Spencer Levin smoking cigarettes while on the course. What do you expect them to do? Levin was the leader and was chain-smoking all week. We found Levin’s actions refreshing. He was always in motion — fidgeting, smoking, twitching with every step. It’s not often you see a Tour player look as uncomfortable under pressure as us mere mortals.


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