Tue, Feb 15, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Points, Murray win pro-am title by two

‘IT’S IN THE HOLE’:Paired with comedian Bill Murray, D.A. Points used a flawless back nine to come from two shots back to capture the victory and earn a trip to the Masters

AP, PEBBLE BEACH, California

Actor Bill Murray bows to his playing partner and tournament winner, D.A. Points, as they walk up the 18th fairway during the final round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday in Pebble Beach, California.

Photo: AFP

D.A. Points captured his first PGA Tour victory on Sunday and dragged along his amateur, actor Bill Murray of Caddyshack fame, to the pro-am title.

One shot behind as he played the second-toughest hole on the course, Points holed out for eagle from 100 yards on the 14th hole and followed that with a bending 30-foot birdie putt. He closed with a five-under 67 for a two-shot victory in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Points became only the fourth player in the past 20 years to make Pebble Beach his first PGA Tour victory.

It was a rare occasion when the winner wasn’t even the biggest star.

Murray, famous for his role as assistant greenskeeper Carl Spackler in the golf-themed movie Caddyshack, has become a staple at this celebrity-rich tournament during the last two decades.

He now gets his name on a plaque in the wall of pro-am champions below the first tee at Pebble Beach.

“Pebble Beach may be the most iconic place in America to play golf and to win here, it’s just a dream come true,” said Points, who finished at 15-under 271 and earned his first trip to the Masters.

Hunter Mahan shot 31 on the front nine and twice was tied for the lead on the back nine. He birdied the 17th with a tee-shot inside three feet, then reached the par-five 18th in two. However, he three-putted for par, missing a four-foot birdie putt.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter. Mahan closed with a 66 and wound up alone in second, two shots behind.

Steve Marino, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, never caught up after Points made his eagle from the 14th fairway.

Marino missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 16th to get within one, then slammed his driver to the turf on the 18th when his tee shot sailed into a bunker to the right.

Marino hit his third shot into the ocean and made a triple-bogey eight that mattered only in his bank account. Not making a par to share second place was the difference of US$327,200.

Tom Gillis closed with a 70 and finished along in third.

Points and Murray won the pro-am tournament by two shots.

The trophy was locked up with Points’ par on the 18th when Murray announced his “big putt” that was meaningless.

He then mimicked some dialogue from the “Cinderella Story” scene in Caddyshack, when Murray swatted at flowers with his scythe and imagined the former greenskeeper on the verge of winning the Masters.

“It’s in the hole,” Murray shouted.

Not quite. As the putt headed toward the cup, Murray jogged over to tap it while it was still moving, then thrust his arms in the air.

Murray also won the pro-am title in the Pebble Beach event on the Champions Tour with Scott Simpson, his longtime partner at Pebble Beach, who played the straight man to Murray’s routine.

Points started the final round two shots out of the lead, stayed in range and was flawless on the back nine. His big run started with an eight-foot birdie on the 10th hole and then came his magical run.

For the second straight year, the pivotal hole at Pebble Beach turned out to be the 14th — this time for a good score. A year ago, Paul Goydos, Bryce Molder and Alex Prugh all had a chance to win until they made nines on the par five.

A few groups earlier, Phil Mickelson hit a 64 wedge that landed just on the green and rolled off to the left, down the slope. Points hit a gap wedge that was perfect, because it had to be. The ball landed in the first cut of rough, hopped onto the green and had just enough spin to slow to a trickle as it dropped into the cup.

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