PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. –- A year ago, the par-5 14th hole spelled disaster for Bryce Molder and Paul Goydos in their bids to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
If Hunter Mahan should win this year’s renewal, though, he may look to the par 5 as the pivotal hole after sinking a 30-inch putt for birdie there. That birdie, which was his sixth of the day, moved Mahan briefly into a tie with Steve Marino and D.A. Points at 12 under.
Marino, who held the overnight lead, just drained a 21-footer to retake the lead at 13 under, though. Points and Mahan are a shot back at 12 under.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Steve Marino regained sole possession of the lead when he tapped in from 11 inches at the par-5 sixth hole.
But six players stand within three strokes of his lead, including Jimmy Walker, who is at 12 under and D.A. Points, Hunter Mahan and Alex Cejka , who are another stroke back. Points is playing with comedian Bill Murray and the two are tied for the lead in the pro-am portion of the event.
Phil Mickelson, the three-time champ at Pebble Beach, has just birdied No. 11 to move to 10 under along with Bryce Molder. Molder had a chance to win last year’s tournament until he made a 9 at the 14th hole on Sunday. – Helen Ross
In the final round of the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Phil Mickelson chips his third shot at the par-5 6th hole to eleven inches and taps for birdie.
Steve Marino’s take on the final round?
“It just has a different feel,” Marino said. “You know you're not coming back [the next day]. There might be a little bit of tension, a little bit of nerves that you don't feel the first three days. I think that's natural. I think probably anybody would feel that.”
Marino also hopes to have a different feeling, one that involves a win, which is something he’s yet to do in 121 previous starts on the PGA TOUR.
“I felt like I've had the game to win out here for a while,” said Marino, who has three runner-up finishes in his career. “It just has not happened. I'm not going to say that I'm due. But I feel like I'm good enough to win on this TOUR.”
Marino, however, nearly squandered all of his lead. He was the only player in the top 10 on the leaderboard to shoot over par with a 71 at Monterey Peninsula, and that lead is down to just one.
But Marino isn’t thinking about all his previous close calls. “No,” he responded when asked if the 2009 British Open at Turnberry, where he shot 76-75 on the weekend to tumble out of contention, entered his mind at any point in the last 24 hours, for example.
Marino also admitted that he didn’t check the leaderboard much on Saturday. “But tomorrow might be a different story,” Marino said.
He sure hopes so. -- Brian Wacker
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Saturday was a day of survival for Steve Marino.
The good news is that he’s still leading the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. His four-shot lead, though, has dwindled to one over Jimmy Walker and Bryce Molder and two over D.A. Points.
Marino, who like his nearest competitors is still looking for his first PGA TOUR win, shot a 1-over 71 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which is generally regarded as the easiest in the three in the rotation.
Marino started on the back nine and set the tone for the day, unfortunately, with two bogeys in his first three holes. He turned in 1 over but got back to even with a birdie at the second hole.
That burst of momentum was short-lived, though. The last five holes were a roller-coaster ride as Marino closed with an eagle, three bogeys and one par.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Jimmy Walker has just finished off a career-low round of 63 at Monterey Peninsula County Club which ties for the low round of the tournament there.
His bogey-free round has moved Walker into a tie for second with Bryce Molder at 11 under. Molder has seven holes remaining at Spyglass Hill.
Meanwhile, Steve Marino, who is also playing at Monterey Peninsula, has recovered from a shaky start and is even through 12 holes. He owns the lead at 13 under.
Walker is one of many players at the top of the leaderboard still seeking their first PGA TOUR victories. His best is a tie for third at last year’s Valero Texas Open.
The former Nationwide Tour Player of the Year finished solo fourth in his 2011 opener at the Sony Open in Hawaii. – Helen Ross
Here’s a look at the top of the leaderboard to set you up for Saturday’s coverage on CBS, which will begin at 3 p.m. ET.
The last time a player took a four-stroke lead into the weekend at Pebble Beach was Phil Mickelson in 2005. He won by four. Still in search of his first win, Marino has held at least a share of the 36-hole lead twice. He was tied for first at the 2007 Wyndham Championship and 2009 British Open, finishing T37 and T38, respectively. Marino has twice finished second -- at the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic and 2009 Crowne Plaza Invitational.
Points is making his fifth start at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, with his only made cut coming in 2008 (T14). Prior to his 63 on Thursday, his only other sub-70 round (in 15 attempts) at the event came during the opening round in 2008 (68 at Spyglass Hill). Points’ best career finish on TOUR was a third-place finish at the 2009 HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Bradley, who earned his card by virtue of a 14th-place finish on last year’s Nationwide Tour money list, is making his fourth start of the season. Of his previous three, his best finish was a tie for fifth at the Bob Hope Classic.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Jimmy Walker has closed to within two of Steve Marino’s lead with a strong run at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.
The former Nationwide Tour Player of the Year just birdied the 11th hole, his second straight and the fifth of the round, to move to 9 under. He has yet to miss a green in regulation on Saturday and has moved up 21 spots on the leaderboard.
Walker started the 2011 season on a strong note when he finished solo fourth at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He has cashed checks in his other two events on TOUR this year, as well.
Kevin Stadler is off to a hot start at Spyglass Hill, as well. He started his back and birdied his first six holes to move from even par to 5 under. That’s a jump of 63 spots – and more importantly, puts him back inside the cutline.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am has tightened up considerably on a spectacular and sunny day on the Monterey Peninsula.
Steve Marino has bogeyed two of his first three holes while D.A. Points has made birdies in Nos. 1 and 2 at Pebble Beach so they are tied at 11 under.
Points, who is playing with comedian Bill Murray, made an 18-footer at No. 1 and two-putted from 33 feet on the par-5 second. Marino is playing Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which is generally regarded as the easiest of the three venues.
Bryce Molder, who started on the back nine at Spyglass Hill, had closed to within a shot after a birdie and eagle on his first two holes but he has just made a double bogey at No. 13. So now he’s tied for third with Jimmy Walker, Alex Cejka, Bill Lunde, J.J. Henry and Keegan Bradley at 8 under.