Celebrity Rankings: AT&T Pebble Beach
February 04, 2014
By Helen Ross , PGATOUR.COM
- Peyton Manning, a single-digit handicap, will tee it up this week at Pebble Beach. (Martinez/Getty Images)
The comic relief is missing without Bill Murray here to channel his alter ego, Carl Spackler, as he plays with the crowd -- and to the cameras.
But the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am certainly isn't lacking in star power. Some of those celebrities actually can play, too.
Murray, who partnered with D.A. Points to win the pro-am competition in 2011, is the most recent celebrity or athlete to earn bragging rights in the unique format that has every TOUR pro partnered with an amateur for three days. The low 25 teams advance to Sunday's finale.
Six athletes have taken the top prize -- former San Francisco QB John Brodie (1970), Kansas City Chiefs backup QB Jacky Lee, Kansas City slugger George Brett (1987), Miami Dolphins QB Dan Marino (1988) and major league pitchers Albie Pearson (1962) and Lefty O'Doul (1949).
Of the group, Brodie, who also won NFL MVP honors in 1970, was the most accomplished golfer. He went on to play 29 PGA TOUR events and 230 on the Champions Tour. He actually won once on the Champions Tour, too, capturing the 1991 Security Pacific Senior Classic.
In addition to Murray, there have been four other celebrity winners -- comedian Phil Harris (1951), soap star Jack Wagner (1991), actor Andy Garcia (1996) and Eagles frontman Glenn Frey (1999). Frey actually lost in a scorecard playoff but is listed as a champion.
So who are the best candidates to contend this year? PGATOUR.COM picks its top five outside of the world of Wall Street and big business below.
When he wraps his fingers around a saxophone, Kenny G makes Grammy-winning music. Grip a golf club and he's equally adept -- he's been as low as scratch and plays this week to a 2 handicap. Kelly SLATER
He's an 11-time ASP world champion but Slater spends plenty of time on dry land playing golf, boasting a 3 handicap. Slater should contend -- although the spectacular scenery and surf off the Monterey Peninsula could prove tempting. Peyton MANNING
He's a single-digit handicapper like his boss, John Elway, but it's safe to say the Broncos' quarterback hasn't been spending much time playing golf lately. That said, he likely has something to prove -- and at least Seahawks LB Malcolm Smith is far, far away at DisneyWorld. Chris O'DONNELL
This actor, who went from playing Robin to George Clooney's Batman and now stars in the highly popular "NCIS-Los Angeles," does a more than credible turn as a golfer. He's got an 8 handicap that should help keep him and his partners in the hunt. Wayne GRETZKY
The hockey icon is playing to an 11 handicap this week but he comes to Pebble Beach with his own personal swing coach in Dustin Johnson. His future son-in-law is a two-time champion at Pebble Beach, too.