Illinois For The Win: Points and Murray On Top at AT&T
By Scott MacLeod, via Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)
The Prairie State; The Land of Lincoln, whatever you choice of name for Illinois you can now also call it home to the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Ams Champions. That’s Champions, with an “s” as not only did Pekin, Illinois native D.A. Points (63-70-71-67-271) secure his first PGA Tour win on Sunday, comedian and actor Bill Murray of Wilmette, Illinois got in on the action as well. The duo (Photo, right, by Stuart Franklin, Getty Images) took down the Pro-Am team title, a first for Murray who has been an institution at the tournament for many years.
Although Murray is thought of by many to be an over-the-top distraction at Pebble Beach, Points reiterated all week that it was actually working in his favor to have the funnyman well known in golf for his role in the movie Caddyshack on his side. Points was effusive is his praise of Murray and how he actually helped him to the individual win.
“Yeah, everybody all week kept saying, well, you got the short end of the stick playing with Murray and he's so crazy and I never, ever felt that way and I kept thinking, you know, why does everybody get so worked up thinking he's this big distraction,” Points told the media after being presented with the crystal trophy and a check for $1.134 million. “I tried to embrace it. I was expecting him to be, you know, more of a distraction than he was, and maybe he toned it down, maybe he didn't, I didn't know, but he just seemed to have fun and he taught me to go ahead and have a little more fun and in turn, it distracted me from trying so hard. It kept me more loose and having a good time with Bill.”
Whatever the case, it seemed to work for Points who jumped into the lead with an improbable shot on the par five, 14th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links, more unusual in that it is a par five that averages OVER par. Points struck what would become the tournament-winning shot from 107 yards, his third stroke on the hole that found the bottom of the cup. “I knew it was going to at least be a decent shot and I saw it just barely carried the bunker and I could hear the crowd, because we could not see anything from where we were hitting but the crowd, they went nuts. It was great. Our chest pump, he was trying to do it where we would not actually hit but I went all the way so I was a little embarrassed about that part. But really, that was — it was an amazing moment and it was a pivotal shot for the outcome of the event.”
Third round leader Steve Marino (65-66-71-74- 276) still had a chance to catch Points on the 72nd hole of the tournament but needed an eagle of his own to do so. Instead, his four iron from 200 yards found a watery grave and left him with a snowman scarring his card. He earned a share of fourth place alongside Spencer Levin. (71-68-67-70-276). “We had 200 yards to the hole, and I knew I was two back so I was trying to hold my 4-iron and I just pulled it and hit it in the water and after that, it was — kind of the wind was out of my sails. I fought so hard today and felt like I played pretty good and just didn't work out for me. It was kind of, the last hole, knowing you're fighting so hard to win, doesn't happen, it's kind of a bummer,” explained Marino who was also chasing his first win on the PGA Tour.
Hunter Mahan (70-67-70-66-273) made the charge of the day, a final round 66 with an opening nine of 31, but his failure to convert fairly easy birdie opportunities on the final two holes left him in second place alone by the end of the day. Tom Gillis (67-68-70-70-275) took third place by himself.
This report provided to GolfWRX.com by Canada's Flagstick Golf Magazine (www.flagstick.com)
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Tour Photo Galleries
Photos from the 2023 Valero Texas Open
Ah, the Valero Texas Open — a tournament as rich in history as it is in Texan charm. The event has been around since 1922, making it one of the oldest on the PGA Tour calendar.
Over the years, it’s been held at a variety of courses across the Lone Star State, but it’s found its home at TPC San Antonio in recent years. Some of the biggest names in golf have taken home the title here, including Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, and Ben Crenshaw. But the real star of the show? That would have to be the legendary Texan wind, which can turn a benign par-4 into a 500-yard monster faster than you can say “y’all.”
Per usual, GolfWRX was on site to check out what the pros are playing with the Masters just a week away.
Check out links to all our galleries, below.
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Monday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Monday #2
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Tuesday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Wednesday #1
- 2023 Valero Texas Open – Wednesday #2
- Chandler Phillips – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Hayden Buckley – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Brandon Wu – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Rickie Fowler – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Paul Haley II – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Kevin Chappell – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Austin Truslow – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Peter Lansburgh – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Peter Kuest – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Trevor Werbylo – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Doc Redman – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Padraig Harrington – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Ryan Fox – WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Ricky Barnes WITB – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Hayden Buckley’s custom Cameron putters – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- S H Kim’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Beau Hossler’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- New Garsen grip – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Brent Grant’s custom Cameron putter – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three – 2023 Valero Texas Open
- Luke Donald’s new Odyssey Twelve putter (w/ SuperStroke grip) – 2023 Valero Texas Open
Join the discussion in the GolfWRX forums.
Spotted: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three “anti-right” prototype putter
Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K putters have really taken off on tour, and we have seen a handful of models in tour player’s bags. The latest version we spotted out on tour is a very unique design.
Odyssey makes this putter head with a standard flow neck that offers plenty of toe hang for golfers who prefer or need that weighting. This prototype has a long slant neck installed more near the center of the putter head that lets the toe sit slightly up in the air when held horizontally. This is pretty different since most putters sit with the toe hanging down towards the ground or are face balanced (face sits parallel to the ground). A full shaft offset looks to be achieved with the slant neck and the look at address is definitely different.
We spoke to Callaway PGA Tour manager Joe Toulon about the putter and he had the following to say
“On course [we had a player who] had a little push bias that didn’t necessarily show up in practice but it is something that he felt on course. So we wanted to build something that was a little easier to release and maybe not necessarily open the toe as much in the back stroke and not have to work as hard to release it in the through stroke. That was kind of designed to give a little offset and when you rested it on your finger it would rest toe up a little bit. We thought for that player it would help him square the putter face at impact rather than leave it open a little bit.
“It was more of a concept we had and will continue to work on it. When we had it on the truck and we were hitting some putts with it we noticed that you had to work really hard to push this putter. We wanted to make an anti-right putter. Just a fun little concept that we have an idea and work with our tour department to test things out.
“It isn’t something that ended up in a player’s bag but we learned some things in that process and will keep in mind for future builds and projects.”
The finish also looks to be a little different than the standard Tri-Hot 5K putter’s black and silver motif. The face and neck are finished in silver and the rear done in more of a blueish-gray tone. The White Hot insert looks to be standard and the sole still contains two interchangeable weights.
The shaft looks to be painted in the same metallic red as their standard Stroke Lab shaft, but we don’t see a steel tip section. Not sure if this putter has a full graphite shaft or painted steel.
Check out more photos of the Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three Putter.
More “Spotted” pieces
- Spotted: S.H. Kim’s Custom Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport putter
- Spotted: Brent Grant’s Scotty Cameron Circle T T5W putter
- Spotted: Beau Hossler’s custom Scotty Cameron Circle T TG6 putter
- Spotted: Tom Kim’s 2 new Scotty Cameron Circle T putters
- Spotted: Bettinardi BB41 Flow 25th anniversary putter
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