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D.A. Points, Bill Murray win AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

D.A. Points gets his first victory in a PGA Tour event and teams with the 'Caddyshack' star to take the pro-am title at Pebble Beach.

February 13, 2011|By Art Spander
  • D.A. Points watches his tee shot on the third hole at Pebble Beach during the final round of the AT&T National Pro-Am on Sunday.
D.A. Points watches his tee shot on the third hole at Pebble Beach during… (Eric Risberg / Associated…)

Reporting from Pebble Beach — The golf tournament once known as the Bing Crosby now could be renamed the Bill Murray. The man known for his role as greenskeeper Carl Spackler in "Caddyshack," already a legend at Pebble Beach, is now a champion.

D.A. Points took the pro side of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday, and teaming with Murray, who was funny when he could be and restrained when he had to be — which wasn't often — combined to win the pro-am.

Points, who so idolizes Murray he asked to play with him in this historic tournament on the Monterey Peninsula and who can on cue recite Murray's lines from the 31-year-old film, shot a five-under-par 67.

His 15-under total of 271 was two shots in front of Hunter Mahan. It gave Points, 34, his first victory in a PGA Tour event and gave the imitable Murray an opportunity to offer, "The only chance we had was to make it through the entire week without asking what the initials 'D.A.' stand for."

They stand for Darren Andrews, and he and the 60-year-old Murray, playing off a 13-handicap — he's a golfer as well as a comedian — had a net best-ball score of 35-under-par 251 for the four rounds, two at Pebble, one each at Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula.

The win gets Points into the Masters, and Murray, who's had the opportunity to play Augusta National more than infrequently, said, "This crowd was having a lot more fun than the crowd at Augusta. This tournament works well."

Tiger Woods may have been in Dubai, and Phil Mickelson may have been in a tie for ninth in the AT&T, but Points, Murray and others kept interest up. Spectacular weather, with vistas of Carmel Bay and the mountains toward Big Sur, didn't do anything to hurt attendance.

Points is from Illinois, as is Murray, so he always felt a kinship. D.A.'s previous closest brush with fame may have been when he lost to Woods in the quarterfinals of the 1996 U.S. Amateur.

Steve Marino controlled this AT&T from the first day until the back nine of the fourth round. Then on the 573-yard par-five 14th hole, which ruined so many golfers last year in this event and the U.S. Open — Paul Goydos and Bryce Molder took nines there in the AT&T — Points holed a wedge from 107 yards for an eagle three.

Suddenly he was 14 under par and a shot ahead of Marino. When Points followed that with a birdie at 15, after nearly driving out of bounds, well, as Murray said, "We knew we had it won. On 17 and 18 we were buying ice cream bars for the fans."

Murray's antics over the 20 years he's entered and become the main attraction, often partnering with Scott Simpson, unnerved many contestants. On Saturday he wore an Elmer Fudd hunter's cap. Sunday, he had an outfit more appropriate for polishing a floor. Points, however, insisted the Murray routine worked to his advantage.

"When I won on the Nationwide Tour," Points said, "I was chatting with the crowd. Here, Bill loosened me up." On 16, it was Points who did the loosening. In a perfect rendition of Murray doing Carl Spackler, as Murray lined up a long putt, Points quipped, "The crowd would appreciate it if you knocked this in." Murray didn't.

The last celebrity on a winning pro-am team was the musician Kenny G in, 2001. He and Mickelson tied for first with Woods and Jerry Chang that year.

Said Murray after his triumph, "I'm just thinking of turning professional."

sports@latimes.com

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