Hoge wins first title, Pebble Beach welcomes fans back

by Stephen Langsam

Pebble Beach, Calif. – Last weekend the Monterey Peninsula saw a surge of golf fans, and celebrity gawkers take to the golf courses at Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula and Spy Glass. Each provided an amazing experience for the lucky ones that made it out to see some golf over the four days as part of the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. This was the first return for fans at Pebble Beach after taking last year off because of COVID.

The first three days saw the amateurs, and pros alike play across the three golf courses with those who made the cut continuing to play on Pebble Beach Sunday. Some of the amateurs that hit the greens included resident funnyman Bill Murray, former 49ers QB Alex Smith, former Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, current Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen, current OF for the Los Angeles Dodgers Mookie Betts, former Olympic Gold Medalist soccer player Mia Hamm, current IBF champion boxer Canelo Alvarez and rappers Macklemore and SchoolBoy Q to name a few. These amateurs got a taste of the “tour life” when they got paired up with their pros.

Local golfer Brad Marek from Berkeley shot even par at Spy Glass and Pebble Beach sandwiched around a -2 under round at Monterey Peninsula, but failed to make the cut which was -5 heading into Sunday.

The weekend saw Seamus Power of Ireland hold the 36-hole lead heading into Saturday. “I just feel much more comfortable in these positions, I’ve putting myself there a little bit more often, so it definitely seems a little easier, but still obviously a lot of work to do over the weekend,” said Power.

But a tough run at Monterey Peninsula, and a less than stellar showing on Sunday at Pebble Beach saw him slip from the leaderboards top spot, still securing a top 10 finish at -13.

Former PGA tour winner Jordan Spieth did his best to create history as he came all the way back 11-strokes down to tie for the lead late, but was unable to secure victory as Tom Hoge earned his first tour victory with a couple fantastic holes late to take home the AT&T Pro-AM trophy and purse.

“Yeah, I still feel like there’s some significant progression to get it to where I want it to go and I feel that certain range sessions are like, wow, I feel, those are striped and every ball’s on a string. Transferring it to the course just keeps getting better and better,” said Spieth.

The win for Hoge was huge, not only his first ever on tour, but he jumped into second place in the FedEx standings, trailing only Hideki Matsuyama. “Yeah, I mean, obviously a lot of hard work with my caddie Henry and probably just got a little bit smarter out here all these years, I’ve certainly made enough mistakes to figure out how to not do that anymore. So it’s been a nice progression and I think just being comfortable in this atmosphere now, certainly helped being in the final group a couple weeks ago in Palm Springs so I really felt good today right from the get-go and, yeah, you never know where that slight edge is going to come, so we hope that you know that you get enough and it will all add up.”

Next stop for the tour is the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, Ariz where Brooks Koepka is the defending champion.

You can find more info on the players, standings, and earnings for the PGA Tour at www.PGATour.com

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