AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: No celebrities for this year’s tournament

Peninsula Premier Admin

PEBBLE BEACH — Not only will the thousands of spectators be missing from the galleries this year but also absent will be the celebrities on the golf courses — the heart and soul of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The PGA Tour announced Thursday that the 75th tournament will be played without celebrities and amateurs.

Due to COVID-19 circumstances on the Monterey Peninsula, the tournament will be reduced to a field of 156 professional players, with the event still slated for Feb. 11-14.

Instead of the traditional three courses over the first three days being used for the event, the tournament will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course.

“We will truly miss watching the actors, musicians, athletes and other amateur participants that make the event so special,” said Steve John, the tournament director and Monterey Peninsula Foundation CEO.

There was a hint this decision might be coming down the pike after the PGA Tour announced last week that the California Desert for the American Express Tournament in Palm Springs slated for Jan. 20-24 would have no amateurs.

The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego will be played with no fans, as will the Genesis Invitational at Riviera in Los Angeles, slated to follow the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

California has not allowed fans to attend any professional or collegiate sporting events since last March.

The Phoenix Open in Arizona, slated for Feb. 4-7, is planning for roughly 8,000 people a day. The event usually draws 600,000 fans for the week — and has a three-story, stadium-like structure around the 16th hole that’s usually packed with rowdy fans — similar to Pebble Beach’s Club 15.

The AT&T Pro-Am had already lined up 21 big-name celebrities to compete in the tournament including Bill Murray, Toby Keith, Pat Monahan of Train, Macklemore, Steve Young and Josh Duhamel.

“We are pleased to continue on with the professional competition,” John said. “It enables the foundation to support nonprofits in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. Our charitable giving will target basic needs like food insecurity, educational inequities and health inequities brought on by the pandemic.”

The traditional pre-tournament events, such as the 3M Challenge on Wednesday prior to the start of the tournament, have been canceled, while the Chevron Challenge — which has been played on Pebble Beach’s putting green the past three years — has not been determined.

If the Chevron Challenge is held, it would likely be on Feb. 10 with no celebrities, perhaps with just pros, and done all for charitable reasons. The tournament will host a “Every Shot Counts” pro-am in the morning on Feb. 10 to support local charities.

Since 1947, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has generated more than $176 million for charities in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties.

“This was a very difficult decision, but the right one given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our area,” said Bill Perocchi, Chief Executive Officer of Pebble Beach Co.

The tournament plans to return to the traditional pro-am format — conducted over three courses with celebrities — in 2022.

“We know this will create challenges for many local charities this year,” Perocchi said. “But we are confident that the incredible giving associated with this event will continue well into the future.”

Defending 2020 champion Nick Taylor is expected to be back to defend his title. The tournament will be broadcast on CBS, the Golf Channel, PGA Tour Live, DirecTV’s PGA Tour Experience and PGA Tour Radio.

Contributed by local news sources

Next Post

Fired Pacific Grove police officer generates support on social media

PACIFIC GROVE — In the wake of Wednesday’s announcement that the city of Pacific Grove fired one of its police officers for behavior that included association on some level with a right-wing extremist group and assailing the Black Lives Matter movement, it has come to light that the police union […]