PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The world's longest celebrity scramble, more of a poach really, is the annual unofficial beginning of AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Covering five holes in something just under two and a half hours, the charity scramble, complete with its own sound system, is an ode to Cuban cigars, screaming foozles and the traditional Bill Murray wardrobe teaser -- this year an understated black hat with a gold band. Before his tee shot Murray did, however, offer a moving tribute to a 94-year-old lady for her fashion daring, head-to-toe red leather.
Poor, unfortunate Darius Rucker, who earlier revealed his career low was an even-par 72 at Bulls Bay GC, a Mike Strantz course just north of Charleston, S.C., had the unenviable task of hitting the first celebrity ball. While it did get airborne, it barely cleared the heads of the gallery on the left on its way to the cart barn. His partner, Kevin Costner, followed with the Jack Lemmon Memorial Tee Ball that sailed straight right, not into Margaritaville but into Cassitaville. Anthony Anderson, of "The Bernie Mac Show" and "Law & Order", among others, was giving away golf clubs on the first tee, finding a couple of soldiers bravely willing to accept his wedges.
The scramble covered Pebble's first three holes, then the 17th and 18th. The most common declarative sentence: Fore right. The most frequently asked question: Is that out of bounds? In the end Michael Bolton had a putt of some distance, possibly in the 10-foot range, to win the last hole against the challenge of Chris Berman and Kenny G who is, in fact, a Chris Berman half note. Bolton made it, sending Ray Romano and Craig T. Nelson off to play practice rounds at Monterey Peninsula CC while Andy Garcia patiently told one interviewer the reason he comes back every year is, "This is just a sublime place to play golf."
*-- Jim Moriarty