News & ToursFebruary 5, 2008

Oberholser WD's at Cool, Sunny Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.--Early sights and sounds at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where the weather is sunny and expected to remain that way through Sunday. There is still a chill in the air--sweaters and wind shirts are the attire of choice--and fairways are soggy from 17 consecutive days of rain, but nobody is complaining.

Well, one guy is. Former champion Arron Oberholser withdrew Tuesday for the second straight year because of bursitis in his right shoulder. Last year, he was unable to defend his title due to a bulging disc in his back. Oberholser, who had hand surgery last October, was hoping to make his 2008 PGA Tour debut this week.

"Two years in a row I have to hang around, but I can't play," said Oberholser, who will host a party for his main sponsor, Dockers, on Saturday.

On the flip side, Vijay Singh was all smiles at Pebble Beach Golf Links, where he took a moment to soak in the beauty surrounding the 18th tee, one of the prettiest holes in the world. Vijay even took time to speak with a TV crew and reporter, then signed autographs.

He's back to using a small putter, is experimenting with different models and grips, and says it's time to start making more putts.

Day to remember

Actor/comedian George Lopez, a Pebble Beach resident who hosts the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, flagged down 20-year-old Australian Jason Day on Tuesday. "Hey Jason, people say you swing just like me," Lopez said. "Show me your swing." Day obliged. "Does it look like this?" he asked. "It does now," said Lopez.

Hall for Volcano

Steve Pate, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, was inducted into the California Golf Writers Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Nicknamed the "Volcano" for his fiery, on-course demeanor, Pate tied for fifth in a Nationwide Tour event in Mexico last week and received a sponsor's exemption to play this week at Pebble Beach. "They lost my luggage for three days and I didn't shave," said Pate, 46. "I started wearing Ben Franklin glasses and guys started calling Grandpa."

Look who's here

The 180-player amateur field includes 84 players with handicaps of 9 or lower, and 37 with 5 or less. In other words, a lot of these CEOs can play. . . . Sportscaster Al Michaels is playing in the AT&T for the first time. He's an 18-handicap at Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles. . . . Greg Norman is playing with his son, Gregory, a 2-handicapper at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla. Norman's fiancée, Chris Evert, is coming to the tournament on Thursday with two of her three children from ex-husband Andy Mill: Alex, 16 and Nicky, 14. . . . Harry Crosby, whose father Bing started this tournament, is playing with a 2-handicap out of New York's Deepdale Golf Club.

--Mark Soltau

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