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  • The 2019 US Open Tiger Woods is slowly recovering from his auto accident a few months ago. Lucky to be alive and hoping to one day get back onto the PGA Tour. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Tiger Woods Phil Mickelson became the oldest person to win a major with a 2-stroke win at the 2021 PGA Championship Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Rory plays the Silverado Country Club and Spa Max Homa shot a 19 under par to win the Fortinet Championship at the Silverado Spa and Resort by 1 shot over Maverick McNealy. Homa was 7 under Sunday. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Photo by Eric Taylor The 1st Tee returned to Pebble Beach The 2019 Pure Insurance impacting the First Tee finished with Kirk Triplett (shown) and Billy Andrade tied for the win at 9-under 206 one shot ahead of Paul Broadhurst. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Steph Curry 2019 The Ellie Mae Classic Steph Curry is trying to bring a PGA Tour event back to the Bay. SF's Harding Park could host it. Photo by ERIC TAYLOR/1STSTRING.COM

 

 

The Bay Area welcomes Fortinet as a title sponser keeping world class golf in the bay area

Story by Mark Pitts

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Titled the Safeway open no more, it is now the Fortinet Championship.

The tournament in the enchanting Napa Valley will continue its role as the kickoff event of the new PGA Tour season, contested at the beautiful Silverado Resort and Spa, Sept. 13-19, 2021.

This tournament has a rich history which dates back to 2007 when it was titled the Fry’s Electronics Open and contested at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course in Scottsdale, Arizona.

It moved to CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin in 2010, and then eventually to the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa in 2014.

The tournament in Napa teetered on the brink of extinction after Safeway chose not to renew its sponsorship deal when it expired last fall.

Some of the best golfers in the world such as 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama, 2021 US Open champ John Rahm and "Lefty" Phil Mickelson (2021 PGA champion) are scheduled to compete as they begin their mission to make the 2022 Fed Ex playoffs.

The Fortinet Championship is more then just golf. Wine tasting and numerous live concerts will highlight a fun filled week of golf, fine foods and entertainment the whole family can enjoy.

If you are a bay area golf fan you have to be thrilled to welcome Fortinet to the PGA TOUR family and be thankful for them keeping professional golf in the Bay Area. More click here

 

Phil shows that age is just a #

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Who saw this coming. A 50yr old Phil Mickelson grabbed the lead on Friday afternoon and winded his way to a historic win at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.

Phil held off Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen winning by two strokes for his 6th major championship and first since taking home the trophy from the 2016 Open Championship.

The fans also made a big splash as they returned in force to witness Phil's magical run to the title. A rambunchess gallery filed onto the fairway behind Koepka and Phil as they walked down the 18th green Sunday.

It made both golfers uncomfortable but it was not going to get in they way of Mickelson who had found the green on his approach shot, all but securing the win.

Consistency was the name of the game for Lefty. He never had the best round of the day and his 69 Saturday was his only round below 70. His 1-over Sunday matched Koepka.

Phil was however the only golfer to have three rounds of 70 or under. Lefty holing out from the bunker on 5 Sunday was the shot of the tourney and it could not have come at a better time.

More click here

 

 

5 REASONS WHY THE PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM GOLF TOURNAMENT MUST BE ON YOUR BUCKET LIST

Story by Terry Collins

The Pebble Beach Tournament is an experience that will help you think about what you want out of life and can motivate you to make those dreams come true.

Photo by Jason Reed

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Watching the tournament on television captures the professional golfers and looks similar to the other tournaments where a few privileged individuals compete over the weekend for an insane amount of money.

The average person cannot relate to this lifestyle. For the non-golfer, who wants to stand around in silence while little known people wander by to putt a ball in a hole?

Visiting Pebble Beach will help you overcome this common misperception. Once you attend Pebble, you will return to Pebble. Here are 5 reasons why this experience may change your life.


1. It’s The Perfect Mix Of Golf And Entertainment
The competitors consist of some of the top-ranked golf professionals in the world, the entertainers that bring you joy and the athletes that are part of your sporting routine.

The purse is $7.8 million (1.4 for the winner Nick Taylor) and all the amateurs are serious players.

No other tournament allows a fan to sunbathe on the beach, drink their favorite libation and wait for people that they know and love to continuously perform for them within 50 feet.


You get to see the true pros Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Kevin Streelman and the rest of the field attempt to chase down the winner Nick Taylor. The television cannot capture the energy of the tournament and the tension at the hole.

You actually get to see the landscaping of the course, how the grass is contoured to make the ball curve, and how these pitfalls require a level of skill that your neighborhood golf course does not require.

You will want to elevate your level of play to get to this level. Playing on a team with the pro is another person that has also brought you some fond memories.

Whether it was the Great One Wayne Gretzky scoring the goal, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rogers throwing the touchdown pass that made you scream at the television, or Bill Murray making you laugh, they all are there to perform for you.

You get to see the big screen come to life while these people are amenable to having a conversation with you after they leave the hole. There is someone for everyone that attends Pebble.

2. There Is Entertainment And Great Food At The Tournament
The tournament coordinators understand that people need to be entertained.

In 2020, award-winning artist Macklemore was there to provide some entertainment. The AT&T Loft allows everyone to put on a simulator for free.

The simulator moves and recreates the course and gives the average Joe a chance to see if he or she would have made the iconic shot from a previous tournament.

There are amazing food vendors throughout the main course at Pebble where people can partake in everything from nachos to exotic seafood dishes. Many people opt to enjoy the wild décor of Clint’s Saloon or Palmer’s Club 18 presented by Citrix.

Pebble did not forget about the kids. Take the youngsters to the “Autograph Zone” where they can get a selfie and autograph from their favorite celebrity. During the tournament, many people log onto social media and post all the excitement of the event.

3. The Nearby Attractions Are Amazing
The tournament will be over by 5 pm. There are so many things to do that are within a 10-20 mile radius of the tournament. Many people opt to leave a little early to catch the perfect sunset while they drive or bike the infamous 17-Mile Drive.

Others take a horseback ride on the Beach or visit Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can also find vintage and high-end arts and clothing as you shop on Ocean Drive at Carmel By the Sea.

Fine dining, gourmet candy shops, and award-winning Vineyards and Tasting Rooms are 5 miles away in Carmel Valley. If you need some exercise, you can run along the beach at the nearby Monterey Tides or hike at Point Lobos or Big Sur.

The white sandy beaches tend to provide for sanctuary and reflection that we all sometimes need. A few groups opted to travel to the places depicted in the phenomenal HBO Series Big Little Lies, which was filmed in Monterey, CA.

4. The Energy From The Staff Is Amazing


The 3 courses in the Del Monte Forest that the ATT uses for the pro am include the mainstay Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula C.C. Shore Course and Spyglass Hills.

Every course is a postcard picture in itself and is the most diverse and magnificent scenery in golf. What is more impressive than the scenery are the people that host the tournament.

The vast majority of personnel are volunteers. Instead of experiencing the underpaid worker that doesn’t truly want to be there, you get someone who is ecstatic to be there.

One couple travels annually from Kansas City to help at the tournament. Even though they are escaping the winter in KC, they opt to spend the week helping you enjoy and understand the history of the tournament.

Pebble also provides a huge party for its volunteers and makes sure that they are appreciated. There is another level of concierge and positive energy when the staff wants to be present.

The energy from the time you enter the gates of Pebble is extremely positive and refreshing.

5. Pebble May Refocus Your Value System

There is nothing that challenges your value system like money. Pebble is affluent. As you to approach the course, you are surrounded by homes that cost $2 million. If you want a peek at the water, pay $4 million.

If you want a home on the course, pay upward of $20 million. This will be your second home and you have not purchased furniture.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to grind harder and achieve these goals. However, you see many couples holding hands while walking around. They tend to have been reminded that they are part of a team.

A team that consists of more than money and things. The partnership and the journey are just as valuable as the purchase.

In sum, the Pebble Beach Tournament may bring you fond memories, breathtaking views, great food and entertainment, and a renewed value system. Put it on your bucket list.

Champ gets win just a few miles from his hometown Sacramento

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Cameron was all over the place Sunday as he became 1.88 million dollars richer over the weekend.

Champ's tee shot on his first hole Sunday went of course bouncing along a cart path before stopping in some ruff.

He birdied the hole.

Champ went up by as many as five strokes Sunday before a bogey on 17 left him tied with Adam Hadwin who had just finished his round with a birdie on 18 at 16-under.

With a victory staring him right in the face Champ played like one off the 18th tee smashing a drive over 370-yards on the fairway. His approach shot was off the mark but he chipped to within 4' on his 3rd shot of the par 5 18th before nailing the birdie putt.

Marc Leishman had the low round of the day Sunday with a 65 and finished alone in third place at 14-under 274.

Champ's grandfather is ill and Cameron almost skipped the tourney altogether showing up for his opening round tee time without any time on the practice tee or greens that did.

He knew his granddad wanted to watch him play on TV so he had to play, for his grandfather.

With the win, Champ secures a spot in next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Maui and the Masters Tournament, along with receiving 500 FedExCup points. He moves to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings.

More click here

 

Georgia on his mind - Tiger claims 2019 Masters

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

There must be something about the state of Georgia that moves Tiger Woods.

For the second time in as many tournaments in the Peach state Tiger has come away with a victory.

Last year it was the Tour Championships at East Lake.

Woods latest venture in Georgia was perhaps his greatest win of them all. The 2019 Masters.

Not only did Tiger fight off just about every golfer on the course, but for the first time Woods came from behind to win a major.

Tiger must have known that he was up to something Saturday night. It was the 5th time Woods was 11-under par after 54-holes in 22 starts at the Masters. Woods has now won all five times.

Woods did not take the overall lead until late in the round, but there he was doing something few thought he would ever do again.

Walk up the 18th fairway with the lead on Sunday at Augusta. It was a well deserved win. Woods trailed until the 12th hole Sunday when leader Francisco Molinari's tee shot fell short of the mark and rolled backwards into a pond.

Molinari butchered 15 as well leaving Tiger 2 shots clear of the field. Dustin Johnson made a strong run at the lead carding a 4-under par 68 Sunday to finish in a three way tie for second place with Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.

They all finished one stroke behind Tiger and Molinari was two strokes back at 11-under par for the tournament. There were major winners circling all around Tiger Woods waiting for a mistake that never came.

World #1 Justin Rose did not make the cut, but a record 65 players did.

Tiger is now three majors behind Jack Nicklaus record of 18 and Woods became the second oldest to win at Augusta (43) to Mr Nicklaus (46).

 

Getting better with age - Phil wins 5th AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am

Phil Mickelson played his way to a 5th title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am as if he has found the fountain of youth. Phil has been driving as far, if not farther than the "youngsters" he now plays with.

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Those drives were finding the fairway helping Mickelson to a three shot victory over England's Paul Casey.

Phil's four round total of 268 was four strokes better then 3rd place Scott Stalling's.

Pebble Beach lived up to it's reputation of having wacky weather.

Rain, sun shine, wind nor hail could stop the 2019 AT&T from crowning a champion. Bad weather, mainly hail Sunday mourning, forced a Monday finish between Casey and Phil.

Played was halted due to darkness with Phil leading Casey by three strokes with 17 and 18 left to play. A par at 17 was followed up with a birdie on 18. Mickelson approach shot fell seven feet from the cup from 135-yards out.

Phil finished 19-under par, not bad playing three different courses in four days. His two low rounds of the weekend (65) were both shot at Pebble.

It's the 100th anniversary of Pebble Beach and with the 119th US Open being played there this year it could end up a very special year for Phil who has deep family ties to the famed golf course.

His grandfather was a caddie when the course first open for business back in 1919. Mickelson carries a silver dollars from the year his grandfather was born and he uses it to mark his balls when he plays Pebble Beach.

Phil's win at the 2019 AT&T makes him one of the favorites to take home the US Open trophy this June.

2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am photos click here

 

Like Father Like Son - Kevin Tway gets first PGA Tour win at the 2018 Safeway Open

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Kevin Tway needed three extra holes Sunday, but his birdie on the par 4 10th hole bested Ryan Moore after the two birdied the first two playoff holes.

Tway fought thru a windy final round posting his highest round of the weekend (71) to pull even with Brent Snedeker and Moore after 72-holes. Snedeker started the final round with a 3-stroke lead but shot a 74 Sunday.

Brent's problem were holes 10-12 where he bogeyed each one giving the hard charging Moore and steady Tway life.

Ryan Moore made the biggest move Sunday posting a 5-under 67 to get into the after party. Tway birdied the last five holes he played including all three playoff holes..

The playoff holes were played under the threat of darkness. One or two more holes and it would have been too dark to continue. Sunset was at 6:42 and the match ended at 6:32pm

Kevin, the son of Bob Tway a 8-time winner on the PGA Tour back in the 80's won his first title and the Tway's become the 16th father and son combo to win on the PGA Tour.

Kevin's win comes with 500 FedEx points, an exemption into the 2019 Masters and a cool 1,152,00 dollar first prize check.

"The golf course is hard enough" Tway said about the Silverado Golf Course in Napa, Ca. " With the windy conditions I was just trying to put the ball in the fairway's off the tee and keep making pars and then I got hot at the end."

2018 Safeway Open pictures click here

 

Viktor Hovland Becomes First Norwegian to Win the U.S. Amateur Championship

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Viktor Hovland, of Norway, capped a dominant week of golf with a 6-and-5 victory over Devon Bling on Sunday in the 36-hole final of the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links, a convincing win that was highlighted by a pair of improbable recoveries on the opening 18 of the 36-hole final.

“I always thought I had a pretty good vocabulary, but I’m lost for words,” said Hovland, whose lone previous victory was the Valspar Collegiate event in 2018. “It’s really special. I’ve only won once before, and to win the U.S. Amateur as my second win is really cool. I just hope it’s the start of something great.”

Hovland, 20, who is No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and a junior at Oklahoma State University, tied the record for the fewest holes needed to earn the Havemeyer Trophy (104) since the current match-play format was adopted in 1979. Hovland managed to make an incredible birdie from the ice plant some 40 feet down an embankment to the right of the fourth green to win that hole, then saved par to halve the 18th hole after hitting his tee shot into the water, preserving his 4-hole advantage over Bling through the lunch break.

“If you don’t make putts, it’s very hard to make or get momentum,” said Hovland, who helped Oklahoma State win its 11th NCAA title in May. “I felt in a couple places I made the right putts at the right time or I hit the right shots at the right time, especially against Cole Hammer [in Saturday’s semifinals]. This week, when I had to make a putt, I made the putt or hit the shot that I needed to.”

Bling, 18, a sophomore at UCLA, made seven birdies in his semifinal victory over Isaiah Salinda on Saturday, but he made six bogeys in the morning against Hovland, and on two occasions when it appeared that he had the advantage, Hovland stole it back.

On the 292-yard, par-4 fourth hole, with the match all square, Hovland drove over the cliff to the right of the green, while Bling found a green side bunker. Hovland confirmed that it was his ball, then climbed down the ice plant-covered hillside with his 60-degree wedge.

“The slope was pretty steep, and I kind of slid on the way down there,” said Hovland. “I didn’t want to fall when I hit the shot, so I was just trying to make contact. I had a perfect lie, so the contact wasn’t really the big issue. It was just getting the right line and obviously the right distance. It was a hit-and-hope moment, and it ended up pretty sweet.”

Hovland knocked the ball to 2½ feet for a winning birdie and a lead he would not relinquish. He won three consecutive holes with pars on Nos. 8-10, then made a birdie on No. 11 for a 5-up lead. Hovland’s advantage would never slip below 4 holes the rest of the way.

“It wasn’t really surprising to me,” said Bling of Hovland’s birdie on No. 4. “He’s a great player. He’s in the championship match. You’ve got to hit shots like that to get there. It wasn’t too surprising, but definitely did hurt a little bit.”

Hovland lost the par-3 17th, and was in danger of losing No. 18 after his tee shot found the water. But he made a 12-foot putt to save par from the front bunker and keep Bling from winning consecutive holes and take momentum into the lunch break. Bling then bogeyed the first hole of the afternoon to go 5 down, and Hovland matched two of Bling’s three birdies to blunt any charge. When Bling made a sloppy double bogey on No. 11, the 29th hole of the match, it was all but over, and matching pars on No. 13 sealed the 6-and-5 verdict.

“I definitely felt like he could win this championship,” said Alan Bratton, Hovland’s coach at Oklahoma State and his caddie for the week. “Look at the year he had for us and how well he played in the British Amateur and the European Amateur. He’s the No. 5 amateur in the world. He’s a very solid, consistent player, and he showed that this week.”

Bling will join Hovland at Pebble Beach next June for the 119th U.S. Open and both players also earn a likely invitation to the Masters Tournament in April, provided they remain amateurs. Hovland is also exempt into the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

“It wasn’t the day I was hoping for, but I played really well all week,” said Bling, a rising sophomore at UCLA who had plenty of Bruin supporters following him on the weekend. “It’s just the beginning, it’s not the end. Now I get to look forward to the U.S. Open and the Masters, so that’s definitely a lot of positives coming out of this week.”

 

 

Pebble Beach site to shine for the 118th US Amateur

It is hard to pick a better place to play in a golf tourney then Pebble Beach. The country's oldest golf championship will turn into fantasy land for who ever wins it.

The champion gets a spot in next year's US Open, at Pebble Beach. The 2018 US Amateur will be in some ways a test run for next year's US Open. Look for the fairways to be narrow, the greens fast and the rough thick.

Whoever wins this one will earn that return trip to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula next June.

This is the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship. The U.S. Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in America, one day older than the U.S. Open.

Other than an eight-year period from 1965-1972, when it was contested at stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.

Throughout its history, the U.S. Amateur has been the most prestigious of all amateur titles.

Many of the great names of professional golf, such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Littler, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Jerry Pate, Mark O'Meara, Hal Sutton, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, grace the Havemeyer Trophy.

It was, however, legendary amateur Bob Jones who first attracted national media coverage and sparked spectator attendance at the U.S. Amateur.

Jones won the championship five times (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928 and 1930). His 1930 victory was a landmark moment in golf history when, at Merion Cricket Club in Ardmore, Pa., Jones completed the Grand Slam, winning the four major American and British championships in one year.

Sixty-six years later, in 1996, Woods attracted similar interest and enthusiasm at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore., when he won a record third straight U.S. Amateur, having registered 18 consecutive match-play victories.

In 1994, Woods, at 18, had first entered the record book as the youngest ever to win the U.S. Amateur, following his three consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur titles (1991-1993).

That record for youngest champion has since been broken, first by 18-year-old Danny Lee in 2008 at Pinehurst No. 2 in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C., and then in 2009, when 17-year-old Byeong-Hun An won at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., with a 7-and-5 victory over Ben Martin of Greenwood, S.C.

More click here

 

Ted Potter Jr tames the field and Pebble Beach

Photo by Jason Reed

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Heading into the final round Sunday The last name anybody was paying attention to was the one in first place.

With the Likes of Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Phil Mickelson, all just three strokes off the lead, who knew Ted Potter Jr. would be the one taking home his second PGA Tour title.

After losing a shot on the first hole Sunday to Johnson Potter Jr. took control over the next six holes to move three strokes ahead on the strength of four birdies.

And there he would stay. Three strokes ahead of Day, World #1 Johnson and Phil who made the biggest push of the day with a final round of 65. Phil's chances ended when he found a bunker on his second shot that fell just short of the 18th green.

It cost him a chance at an Eagle which would have left him a shot behind Potter Jr. It would not have mattered. After sinking a birdies putt on seven Ted played even par the rest of the course to come home with a four day total of 270.

Chad Reavie threw his hat into the ring with a hot front nine (5-birdies) and ended up sharing second with Johnson, Day and Mickelson.

 

 

The 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am is set to Rock and Roll

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Heading into the final round Sunday The last name anybody was paying attention to was the one in first place.

With the Likes of Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Phil Mickelson, all just three strokes off the lead, who knew Ted Potter Jr. would be the one taking home his second PGA Tour title.

After losing a shot on the first hole Sunday to Johnson Potter Jr. took control over the next six holes to move three strokes ahead on the strength of four birdies.

And there he would stay. Three strokes ahead of Day, World #1 Johnson and Phil who made the biggest push of the day with a final round of 65. Phil's chances ended when he found a bunker on his second shot that fell just short of the 18th green.

It cost him a chance at an Eagle which would have left him a shot behind Potter Jr. It would not have mattered. After sinking a birdies putt on seven Ted played even par the rest of the course to come home with a four day total of 270.

Chad Reavie threw his hat into the ring with a hot front nine (5-birdies) and ended up sharing second with Johnson, Day and Mickelson. More click here

 

 

 

 

 

The PGA | The USGA | The Champions Tour

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  • Stanford sets it's sights on the NCAA Tourney photo Stanford sets it's sights on the NCAA Tourney
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Title1 Selected
Title1

 

2018 Masters

2018 USA Jr Girls Championships @ Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach

photo by Jason Reed

2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am

2018 Masters

2018 Safeway Open

2018 Masters

2018 Pure Insurance Open

 

       
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
       
       
       
       
       
 
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