2008 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Review and Notes
by Matt of Predictem.com
Among the stunning ocean views and crowd surfing celebrities, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am took place this week in California. Steve Lowery persevered through a roller-coaster week and took home the trophy, beating Vijay Singh on the first playoff hole.
Lowery was sitting at one-under par and in danger of missing the cut, but used solid weekend play including a four-under 68 in the final round to arrive at ten-under total and the tie with Singh. The 68 erased a three shot deficit for Lowery and a birdie on the 18th could not be matched by Vijay, giving Lowery his third PGA Tour victory, all coming in playoffs.
Lowery earned a handsome 1.08 million dollars for his efforts and also punched his ticket for the Masters this spring. Playing on a minor medical exemption through the first part of this year, the win earned Lowery enough money to be a fully exempt player through 2010.
Singh earned $648,000 for the second place finish, but Vijay will look back at three straight bogeys on holes 15-17 in the final round as a main factor to let Lowery sneak in steal the win.
Lowery gained an edge on the field in the putting stats for the week and was a main factor in the win. His 1.56 average for putts per green in regulation ranked second in the field and his final round was one of only 5 in the 60s carded on Sunday.
John Mallinger saved his best for Sunday, firing a tournament low round of 65 and shot into a t-3(-9) with Dudley Hart and Corey Pavin. Other notables in the field were Jim Furyk, Padraig Harington and Mike Weir, all at 4-under total and tied for 14th. Two time AT&T winner Davis Love III earned a t-24 finish at 3-under par.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the week was play of Phil Mickelson. Lefty missed the cut after a third-round 78 that included an 11 on the par-5, 14th hole at Pebble. To that point, Phil was hanging in there at 1-under par but paid full penalty for his aggressive play as he hit two shots OB on the hole.
Steve Lowery made a big move on the FedExCup Points list with the win, going from a t-86 to 3rd behind J.B. Holmes and K.J. Choi. Singh was a mover as well, going from 48th to 11th with the runner-up finish. Rounding out the top-5 are Daniel Chopra and Rory Sabbatini, with Tiger and Phil in 8th and 10th respectively.
The 2008 PGA Tour money list look much like the FedEx list with Holmes, Chopra and Lowery holding down the top-3 slots. Dudley Hart made the biggest gains; his t-3 at the AT&T vaulted Hart from 153rd to 31st on the list. Hart will look to use this week to help him earn his exempt status as he is playing on a medical exemption so far in 08.
PGA Tour players have one more tournament, next weeks Northern Trust Open, to get into the top-64 in the World Golf Rankings and seal a spot for the Accenture Match Play. There have been withdrawals already with Ernie Els and Brett Wetterich out for the event, so there is room for change. Anthony Kim currently sits on the last spot in, which draws World number 1, Tiger Woods. A loss in the first match earns the player $40,000.
Steve Lowerys last win came in 2000 at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, he had played 199 events since then and this past weeks win.