About last year's winner:
- On the greens of Pebble Beach Golf Links he missed just one putt inside 10 feet (31 of 32) ranking T-2nd from this distance. He also ranked 5th in the field for putts gained, outperforming the field by over four total strokes with his putter on the host course.
- For the week, Points made a career best tying two eagles and 23 total birdies (also made 23 birdies at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic).
The key shot? His eagle on No. 14 (Watch it here)
On the par-5 14th hole, Points holed out from 100 yards for eagle to take the lead. Points was the only player to eagle the 14th hole all week. In fact, the last player to eagle the 14th hole in this event prior to Points was in 2004, when Scott Gutschewski holed out from 67 yards for eagle in the third round.
How hard was that shot?
The average third shot on the 14th hole measured 118.7 yards.
From this distance, only one in every three 3
players (37 percent) found the green, and when they did, they were 40 feet to the pin on average.
At a mere 6,816 yards, Pebble Beach remains the shortest course on the PGA TOUR. It's a chip shot shorter than Monterey Peninsula CC, another course in the Pebble rota:
|Pebble Beach||6,816||AT&T Pebble Beach|
|Monterey Peninsula||6,836||AT&T Pebble Beach|
|TPC River Highlands||6,841||Travelers Championship|
|El Camaleon||6,923||Mayakoba Golf Classic|
|PGA West (Nicklaus)||6,924||Humana Challenge|
-- ShotLink data by Alex Turnbull
Got a question for D.A. Points? Send us your questions for Direct Connect -- PGATOUR.COM’s newest video franchise that gets you closer to a PGA TOUR pro each week -- and host John Swantek might use it when he chats this week with Points, who is the defending champ at this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Just fill out the form below and you might get an answer from Points.
Direct Connect video will be posted each Wednesday afternoon on PGATOUR.COM
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
HONOLULU -- D.A. Points sent a text message to Bill Murray on Saturday morning just to make sure the two would be partners against in a few weeks to defend at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Murray replied: "Of course. I never thought we weren't."
But before Points defends his own individual title at Pebble Beach, he may have some additional hardware to carry back to the mainland, thanks to a 6-under 64 during Saturday's third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
"I finally hit some quality iron shots and holed some putts," Points said. "I had been burning the edge for, whatever, the first six rounds of the year and today some dropped in finally."
Points said playing last week in Kapalua was beneficial in getting the rust off his game.
"Playing over there was really a big advantage," Points said. "The golf courses are not at all similar; but you go over there and you try to make a lot of birdies.
"So when you come over here, you're still thinking, well, I'm out here to try to make a lot of birdies, and that kind of mindset. I think when you're playing well and shooting under par, even if it's not a lot under par, you kind of stay in that frame of mind and you just keep trying to make birdies and birdies and birdies."
Perhaps more beneficial, though, is Points' new routine prior to rounds, in which his schedule is more standardized in terms of his warm-up. He said he'll have 10 minutes of putting, 10 minutes of chipping, 20 minutes of practice on the range, then more time back on the putting green.
It's a schedule from which he doesn't plan to deviate.
"Before that, I just kind of winged it," Points said. "Sometimes I would show up 30 minutes before my time, sometimes I would show up an hour and 20 minutes before my time.
"And it always kind of bothered me and I just didn't really ever take the time. I kind of procrastinated and kind of pushed it off."
But he practiced the routine during the offseason. It's paying quick dividends. The next routine he'd like to get familiar with is returning to the winner's circle.
In the final round of the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, D.A. Points holes a clutch approach at the par-5 14th hole.
EDISON, N.J. – With less than an hour of daylight left, Justin Rose probably won’t get his first round finished. But the Englishman should go home energized after making a run up the leaderboard on Thursday afternoon.
Rose birdied his first hole and bogeyed his next before playing his next 11 holes in 5 under. His most recent birdie came at the 13th hole, where he rolled in an 11-footer for his sixth of the day.
And Rose isn’t the only player prospering as the afternoon wanes. Matt Kuchar, playing two groups behind him, has just made consecutive birdies at Nos. 11 and 12 to join Rose at 5 under.
The group at 4 under is getting bigger, too, with the addition of D.A. Points, Chris Stroud and William McGirt to the mix. Points has played 12 holes, Stroud 10 and McGirt eight.
McGirt, who came into the week as the bubble boy at No. 125, reeled off four straight birdies starting at the fourth hole. It’s very early, but the PGA TOUR rookie is now projected at No. 82.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Prior to this week, D.A. Points had never played in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
”I've watched it on TV,” Points said. “But it's kind of more of just I watch it and don't really soak it in as much as I should. It's a great golf course, it's just straight in front of you. The conditions are great.”
Points took advantage of those conditions, shooting a 4-under 66 Thursday to sit near the top of the leaderboard in what he called a “scrappy” round.
Even though Points made seven birdies, he also made two bogeys -- one of which included a three-putt on the 18th hole -- and hit 57 percent of his fairways and 56 percent of his greens in regulation. That’s what he was referring to in terms of scrappy.
That said, Firestone seems to fit Points’ eye and he wasn’t terribly surprised he fared well in the opening round.
”It's good for me because I generally drive it pretty straight, and this is a course you need to drive it straight,” Points said. “It's pretty long, so the soft conditions isn't really helping my length of approach shots, but it is helping me keep it in the fairway when I make a good swing at it, and that makes it easier.
“I'm pleased with everything except for the stupid three-putt on the last hole. I just was unsure about the way the last putt was going to go, and I just didn't make a good stroke. But other than that, I'm on the right track.”
In two of his first four starts this year, D.A. Points finished in the top 5, which of course included his memorable win at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with comedian and lifelong hero of sorts Bill Murray as his partner. Since then, however, the season has been up-and-down with just one top-25 finish for Points.
Still, his play early on was good enough to get him into the field for this week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, where another strong performance could open up even more doors.
And so far Points is taking advantage of the opportunity with five birdies and just one bogey through his first 11 holes.
That has Points one shot clear of a half dozen players at the moment, including Rory Sabbatini, who is playing for the first time since the British Open.
As for what to watch for at Firestone, when Hunter Mahan won there last year he ranked 15th in total driving, eighth in greens in regulation and fourth in strokes gained-putting. In other words, everything needs to be clicking.
The drive from Pekin, Ill., to Silvis, Ill., is about 100 miles. So for D.A. Points, the John Deere Classic is about as close to a home game as he’ll find on the PGA TOUR.
He’s making the most of the home cooking, making the turn Saturday at 4 under for the day at 12 under for the tournament.
Points will long be remembered for pairing with Bill Murray to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, not to mention the tournament proper – his first PGA TOUR win.
Since then, however, Points hasn’t showed much of that form. He has missed five cuts in 13 events since with just one top-20 finish, at T20 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
His home-state event hasn’t been good to him recently, with missed cuts the last two years, but this year’s a different story.