Northern California Players’ Wrap-Up From AT&T Opening Day
February 7, 2019
By Gary McCormick
Pros and amateurs with Northern California connections had mixed results on the first day of play at the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
NCGA President Gail Rogers, a Santa Cruz resident, is playing with pro partner Jason Schmuhl, the club pro at Windsor Golf Club, near Santa Rosa. Rogers and Schmuhl closed out the first day T-75 at 4-under, playing at Spyglass Hill Golf Course.
Sacramento native Nick Watney (pictured right) carded a 1-over 73 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, with birdies on holes 5, 6, and 18 offset by bogeys on 4, 9, 10, and 15 to finish T-111.
Former Stanford University star Patrick Rodgers shares a T-111 opening day with Nick Watney after posting a 1-over 72 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Shore Course.
Another Bay Area collegian, Max Homa, from Stanford’s cross-bay rival UC-Berkeley, recovered from a 2-over first nine on the back side of Pebble Beach, following it up with with a 1-under second nine, for a 1-over 73 and T-111. Fellow Cal grad James Hahn fired a 1-under 71 at Spyglass Hill to close out the first day of the event at T-70.
Also playing at the Shore Course, Stockton’s Ricky Barnes sits at T-68 on the strength of a 1-under 71.
Sacramento’s Cameron Champ, a winner in his rookie year at the Sanderson Farms Championship last October, found that the length off the tee which is his hallmark was not all that is required to post a low number at Spyglass Hill, traditionally the most difficult of the three courses in the Pro-Am rota, as he posted a 37-36–73 for a 1-over first round in his first AT&T Pro-Am.
Notable NorCal amateurs in the event include Chef Thomas Keller, the owner of the famed Yountville, CA restaurants The French Laundry, Bouchon, and the Bouchon Bakery; 2015 Miss America Kira Kazantsev, a native of San Francisco, and Huey Lewis, of rock ’n roll band Huey Lewis and The News, who was raised in Marin County.
Keller, who plays off a handicap of 18, and pro partner Brendon Todd, finished the day at 4-under as a team, T-76, playing at Monterey Peninsula Country Club; also playing at MPCC, Kazantsev, a 16-handicap, and pro Ryan Armour sit T-10 at the end of the first day, with a team score of 8-under. Lewis, who plays off 11, and pro partner Chris Stroud are also T-10 at the end of the first day of play, at eight under par.
Amateurs whose team finishes T-25 or better after the first three rounds will play the final round with their professional partners on Sunday at Pebble Beach Golf links.
Phil Mickelson, a four-time winner of this event whose maternal grandfather, Al Santos, was a 13-year-old caddie at Pebble Beach Golf Links when it opened in 1919, is tied for third at six under after the first round. The 2018 champion of the event, Ted Potter, Jr., is finding it hard to reprise his success of a year ago – he carded a 10-over 82 at Spyglass this morning and is currently last in last place.
Co-leaders after round one are Brian Gay, a 25-year pro originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, and Scott Langley of Illinois, who both posted 7-under 64s at the par-71 MPCC Shore Course. Gay’s previous best finish in the event is a T-8 in 2018; Langley’s got a pair of T-62 finishes in 2013 and 2017.