Thursday Pebble Beach Semi-Live Blog

♥♥♥ Buy a Jordan Spieth Pebble Beach AT&T Bobblehead Doll on eBay! ♥♥♥

7:50 pm Update:  Is 45-year-old Phil Mickelson ever going to shoot a lower round than 17-year-old Ryan Ruffels?

It’s the most predictable story told
It’s in with the young
And it’s out with the old

The following lines seem particularly relevant to Mickelson:

A belly full of high-dollar wine
A fat hand, a fat wallet too
Things change and get strange
With the movement of time

By the way, I’m older than Mickelson, so I’m not being ageist here!  It’s a great song by the greatest active American band.

3:30 pm EST Update:  What a beautiful day on the Monterey Peninsula.  Fantastic visuals of the course and sea life.  The actual golf coverage?  Horrid.  [Don’t blame Faldo; it’s the producer.  By the way, when I mentioned Justin Timberlake the other day, I called him a megastar and left it at that.  I forgot to point out he’s a 2-handicapper.]

2:15 pm EST Update:  I noticed the live stream on this morning.  I clicked to see if it was free.  Nope, it’s $6/month.  Compare: If you have HBO, you pay $7/month through your provider.  HBO provides 24/7 programming with no commercials.

The website says it is free (look at the chart):


But when I tried to sign up for free access, there was no free option.

11:25 am EST Update:  By the way, notice in the comments section at the GC article to which I linked below, in response to a question about appearance fees at Pebble:  “NO. It’s against the rules for the PGA to pay appearance fees. Period.”

Right.  Jordan’s AT&T contract has nothing at all to do with his appearance…  Period!

10:55 am EST:  Good morning!  Are you up yet?  If so, why?  They have not even teed off yet on the West Coast.  I love the West Coast tournaments, but it’s crummy how the start doesn’t arrive until most of us are thinking about getting a pastrami on rye.  That darn sun and earth rotation thing is a real inconvenience.

Is there a full list of the amateurs somewhere (which includes their first name…)?  I see two lists of “celebrities.”  One has 31 names on it, the other 29.  Oops, sorry.  Two of you are only pseudo celebrities, I guess.

I see Joe Kernan of CNBC is playing again.  I always get a kick out of following him.  He’ll talk about it on Squawk Box next week.  Charles Schwab, who has a house on the course is playing.  Neither of those two were listed as “celebrities.”  Thus, my desire for a full list of the amateurs…

In my search I found an article from the San Jose Mercury News…  Talk about dinosauritis…  Five of the first six paragraphs had gratuitous mentions of Woods…  It was laughable   I will not be posting a link.  Instead I’ll offer up this article from the Golf Channel (“Pebble’s reverse psychology: Let ams lure pros”).  It’s not half bad.  No, I’m serious.


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9 Responses to Thursday Pebble Beach Semi-Live Blog

  1. Kris says:

    Supporting your sponsor is not the same as getting an appearance fee. With appearance fees the tournament pays you to be there, usually to the detriment of the tournament purse. If you are sponsored by the company hosting the event then your contract generally requires you or incentivizes you to play in the event. Any bonuses paid are covered by the sponsor, not coming out of the pockets of other golfers in the field.

    I don’t know why they don’t publish the list of all 156 amateurs. I think it’s because most of the amateurs are just dudes who plonked down an ungodly amount of money to play in the event but are otherwise not noteworthy.

    • lannyh says:

      That’s kind of what I concluded re the amateurs. The billionaire CEO of Acme Brick might not fit the image they wish to project. (Of course, those are the kinds of guys who play the Wednesday pro-ams every week. Them or their customers.) I want to see the list, though. I mean, Kernan, to people who watch CNBC, is a celebrity, and he frequently discusses golf. Who else do they fail to mention that I’d enjoy following?

      I disagree on the first part. There is no meaningful difference. I don’t follow your point about appearance fees coming out of the prize money pool. I’ve never heard of that.

      • Kris says:

        Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño said in a tweet that when the French Open started offering appearance fees they got Graeme McDowell and a few Americans to come, but the purse dropped a million euros or 25%. I’d imagine the same thing has happened in other tournaments. I don’t care about the ethics of appearance fees aside from that.

        You don’t have to sign in to watch the featured holes live stream, but you do need an account to watch featured groups. If you want to try the full service they give you a 7 day free trial. $6/month or $40/yr isn’t bad for exclusive streaming sports coverage. The nascar exclusive streaming full coverage is $10/month or $80/yr, though there is a “most popular feature” version for $3/month or $20/yr.

      • lannyh says:

        Right, $6 a month isn’t bad; I meant to say that in what I originally wrote. But, on the other hand, compared to HBO, it’s certainly no screaming bargain. Also, the MLB offering is about the same price and you get every MLB game. The golf coverage is only for a select few players they choose, and really of little interest on the weekends, when the leaders are covered, anyway. On second thought, maybe it isn’t such a good deal…

        I didn’t know the feature holes were free. That’s something, at least. I’m not sure if they had those this week or not. I’ll take a look tomorrow.

        That’s darn interesting stuff from Fernandez-Castano. He knows more about it than me, obviously, but I’m still not sure I can buy it. I know some events have really been struggling, and they have even lost a couple. Also, as far as I remember, events like the Dubai Desert Classic has had steadily-increasing prize funds regardless of how many big names they pay to play. I’ll have to look around more; I couldn’t find anything quickly just now.

        But, for Fernandez-Castano to say that, he must have had some reason. Perhaps he was just referring to that one event that year. I don’t know. But I’ve never heard anyone ever say, “Due to the big stars skipping the event this year, first place will be especially high.” It’s always been my understanding that the big names bring more people out, so concessions, ticket sales, etc., tend to offset the fees to some degree. And the more people watching, in person and on TV, the more people exposed to the advertising of the sponsors.

  2. Sports-realist. says:

    Uh, the pro am….Filled with so called celbebrity men with big guts and bad swings….And about as entertaining as watching any other men with big guts and bad swings…

    So are they not showing Phil because he’s on another course then the golf channel cameras? I don’t pay attention to the details of the coverage, but that would make sense to me….

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, the course dictates the coverage to a large degree. Which is weird because Jordan’s group was the feature group for the stream, so they had cameras covering him. They seem to try to make this event as unwatchable as possible.

  3. Jaybird77 says:

    Pebble is a world renowned golf course that I’m sure I’d play if given the opportunity. But the almost guaranteed 6+ hour round doesn’t have me going out of my way to try and play it.

  4. Ken says:

    Great call on The Avett Brothers Lanny. I agree, they are the best American band going now. I’ve been following them for years and have everything they’ve recorded.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, great songs, great lyrics, and they keep putting out quality stuff. I’m thinking of another video I’m going to have to find an excuse to post. It’s the younger brother playing alone outside on the High Line in NYC.

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