PEBBLE BEACH — Sunday is a big day for Golf Digest at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
In his ninth appearance in the tournament, Golf Digest editor-in-chief Jerry Tarde made the cut in the pro-am for the first time. And the fact that he is paired with Canada's Nick Taylor, the tournament leader, means that he might steal a few minutes of air time on national television as he'll join Taylor and Phil Mickelson and his partner, Steve Young, in the final pairing.
Nice company. And at iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links.
"I'm happy to sell my spot to the highest bidder," Tarde, who also is the global head of strategy and content, Discovery Golf, said jokingly. "This is amazing. Nick is playing nice, calm and balanced golf. We probably would have made the cut just on his ball alone. I'll have the best view of all how the ending unfolds."
Taylor, whose 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship victory is the 31-year-old's lone PGA Tour title, will attempt to become the second player to go wire-to-wire for victory. The other is Mickelson, in 2005, as if he needed more incentive in his title defense. After a 69 Saturday at Spyglass Hill, Taylor leads Mickelson by a stroke and Day by three at 17-under 198.
Taylor and Tarde, who plays to a 12.1 handicap index and a 12 this week, are sixth in the team standings at 23 under, four shots behind 2018 winners Kevin Streelman and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Daniel Rapaport, a Golf Digest reporter, also will be inside the ropes on Sunday. He has been the caddie all week for Matthew Fitzpatrick, who made two eagles and two birdies on the inward nine at the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country club to shoot 68 and make the 54-hole cut at six-under 209.
Even while paired with a hot player, Tarde has been able to contribute six strokes to the team total, including three on Friday when they played Pebble Beach. Tarde, a former winner of the PGA of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, says his plan for Sunday, as it has been all week, is to help Taylor where he can and move to the side when he can't.
"It's what you've done all week, really, so the routine isn't any different," said Tarde, whose mobile phone was active Saturday evening as he received countless texts and phone calls from friends. "I'll just try to keep hitting good shots. The hardest thing, given the circumstances, is trying to play your normal game."
In truth, Sunday is, more accurately, one of two special days for Golf Digest this week. In association with the tournament and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Golf Digest sponsored the presentation of the Arnie Awards that went to Jordan Spieth, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Young and country music artist Toby Keith for their commitment to giving back through their charitable endeavors in the spirit of golfing great Arnold Palmer.
Perhaps by the end of the final round, Tarde will be holding a trophy of his own.