February 12 2012
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
Sunday's last two pairings provide an interesting contrast. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have combined to win 110 PGA TOUR events. Ken Duke and Charlie Wi are still looking for their first wins. If you want an early indicator as to how Woods is playing, watch the par 5s. Woods has played 11 par 5s this weekend and is 8-under par over that stretch. Pebble Beach offers a pair of par-5 scoring chances in the first six holes and gives Woods and Mickelson a chance to make an early move on the leaders.
You have to love Ray Romano's enthusiasm. The comedian was grinding to make the cut in the Pro-Am and when he rolled home a natural 3 at the 17th, Romano figured he had qualified for Sunday. The celebration was premature as Romano immediately topped his drive into the ocean on the 18th and had to ride his professional all the way home, hoping for par or better. Steven Bowditch caused some anxiety when he hit his second into the fairway bunker, but then got up and down for birdie and Romano's ticket for Sunday had been punched. With arms raised in victory, Romano walked to the grandstand and shouted, "We made the cut … and by we ... I mean him." Romano pointed to Bowditch and walked away happier than a kid on Christmas.
With Tony Romo playing off a zero handicap, he and Tiger Woods were longshots to make the cut in the Pro-Am but they have qualified for Sunday's round. Romo made five natural birdies on Saturday including a sporty 100-yard bunker shot to tap-in distance at the 15th that earned a round of applause from Woods. "It was just a normal bunker shot, just concentrate on contact," said Romo, while Woods rolled his eyes. Romo admitted he did not pack enough clothes, not expecting to play a Sunday round, but said he had a connection for some "TW" sportswear.
It was an interesting hypothesis on Thursday. It was thought that players who competed at Pebble Beach in the opening round had a big advantage. The weather was perfect on Thursday but deteriorated on Friday and Saturday. Pebble Beach is most exposed to the elements and catching the difficult course on a calm day was a huge advantage. How did that theory play out? Of the top 11 players, three played Pebble on Thursday, three played at Monterey Peninsula in the opening round and five played at Spyglass Hill. So much for theories.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and is inside the ropes this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.