The golf season is underway. Forget those tournaments in Hawaii. I know Tiger winning in Southern California and Phil winning in the Arizona dessert grabbed some headlines and even the attention of some folks who don’t know the difference between a 4-iron and a putter.
But history tells us the golf season starts at Pebble Beach. The football season is over and pitchers and catchers haven’t reported. The NBA season is in the doldrums of midseason and March Madness is still three weeks away. They haven’t revved up the NASCAR engines at Daytona.
A nation’s eyes turn to Pebble Beach, an iconic resort with magnificent views. The Pebble Beach Pro-Am isn’t what it used to be, particularly when Bing Crosby was the host and his Hollywood friends flocked to rub elbows with the PGA Tour ‘s greatest. Nowadays, many of the top golfers skip it and the list of celebrities has fallen from A-listers to people with faces you recognize but not names you can recall.
Still, with much of America bundled indoors because of Old Man Winter, Pebble Beach is one of the most watched PGA Tour tournaments of the year. The views are simply too breathtaking to miss.
There was a bonus this year in the fact golf’s hottest player, Brandt Snedeker, won the title. The mop-topped Tennessean already has a victory, two 2nds and a 3rd in five starts this season. He closed last year by winning the Tour Championship and the FedExCup. He’s moved to No. 4 in the world rankings and appears poised to challenge Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in this year’s major championships. Snedeker hasn’t won a major but he has challenged in all of them with at least a top-5 finish.
Seldom has a PGA Tour season gotten off to a more tantalizing start.
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