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February 14 2011

3:33 AM

Murray gets ultimate prize

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Bill Murray got "pro shop credit" when his team won low gross on Monday at the annual pro-am to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County.

"I'll get a vest or something that's marked down," Murray said, chuckling, noting that he'd won all sorts of things but "nothing I could cash in at a pawn shop."

Sunday night, though, Murray got to take home a big piece of Waterford crystal, a replica of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am trophy, after he and D.A. Points won the team portion of the event. Of course, Points got the real thing, too, when he finished 15 under to beat Hunter Mahan by two.

By the time the two got to the 18th hole Sunday afternoon in the penultimate group, their pro-am victory was assured. And Points was one shot -- Steve Marino's third, which his opponent needed to hole from the 18th fairway to force a playoff -- from his long-awaited first PGA TOUR win.

So secure in the knowledge that he would win the pro-am for the first time in 20 years of trying, Murray sized up a lengthy putt for par on the 72nd hole and launched into the Carl Spackler commentary mode he made famous in "Caddyshack." It was a classic moment.

"I was remembering that ... a few years ago I had a putt to make the cut, and just as I lined up over the putt, some guy in the stands says, 'You're Carl,'" Murray recalled Sunday evening as he sipped a glass of red wine in the interview room.

"And it's really, it's bad, because you can't not do it. You can't not do it. It's sort of like a four-footer with a little bit of break in it, so I had to do, you know, tears in his eyes, a putt to make the cut, the sea otters and the harbor seals, paddling in attention waiting for this young strong boy to hopefully make a dream come true, seal the deal, as it were.

"And went on and on and on and then I made the putt which I can't believe I could even hit it."

Murray made plenty of putts as he played with Points this week. But he credits a tip that he got from Vijay Singh on Thursday evening with helping turn his game around. He said he completely lost his swing midway through the first round, so he had headed to the range where the World Golf Hall of Famer stepped in.

"Big, flying mud and everything, it was terrible," Murray said. "... I've known Vijay a long time and I'm friendly with him.  And I would never go like, ‘Hey, you big Fijian, help me out here.’

"But he saw me, sort of struggling and he came over and he said one thing, and I did it, and then about three minutes later he says another thing, and I did it and then about four minutes later, he said another thing and I did it, and I never hit the ball that well in my entire life.  And I just thought, holy cow, I don't know how you can play this long and get something that late that can work. 

"That's basically why I'm up here today drinking wine and looking for another glass." – Helen Ross

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