Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pebble Beach Decision Was All Wet

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pebble Beach Decision Was All Wet

Article excerpt

For want of a hole, the tournament was lost.

It's always happening to players. This time it happened to an entire tournament.

One wet hole wiped out the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM. And this time the losers were numerous.

The professionals who received no official prize money, the amateurs who paid $3,500 each to play, the fans who got no refunds, the Monterey Peninsula Golf Foundation, which put up $900,000 to pay each pro $5,000 and CBS, with six hours of TV time to fill, all came out on the short end of this decision.

Tournaments are always decided by weather. The game is played outdoors, for crying out loud. Among the many joys of the game is there are no domed stadiums, no plastic grass, no hyperactive scoreboards blaring music and commanding people to cheer.

Among the most compelling memories of golf are Tom Kite fighting the elements on this same Monterey Peninsula to win the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

And you can count on one hand the number of British Opens where the w eather wasn't a factor.

You have to go back to the 1949 Colonial National Invitational to find the words "No Tournament" in the record book. But that's what it will say in the record book next to the 1996 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

One wet hole - 468 yards of mush known as No. 16 at Spyglass Hill - ended the tournament. A mere quarter mile out of 11 1/2 miles of golf course at Spyglass, Poppy Hills and Pebble Beach.

The three courses were wet. They were wet. Very wet. Every tee shot would plug. Water oozed out from under foot. You could see it. It was there. Actual water.

But anyone who plays the game with even the most passing passion has played in worse conditions.

It would have been ugly at times. There would have been some funny-lo oking shots. But it could have been done. There could have been a winner instead of countless losers. …

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