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Points Nabs Maiden Win at Pebble Beach
D.A. Points closed with a 5-under 67 to get his first PGA Tour victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The University of Illinois product earned $1.134 million by finishing at 15-under 271, two strokes lower than Hunter Mahan.
Points and amateur partner Bill Murray also won the pro-am portion of the tournament. Murray, who starred in "Caddyshack" as well as other movies and the NBC comedy series, "Saturday Night Live," ended up at 35-under-par 251 to mark the first time Murray - a long-time participant - has ever won the event.
At a greenside interview with CBS Sports' Peter Kostis, Murray, also a native of Illinois, called his pro partner "Lincolnesque," while Points said, "To win here is a dream come true. I'm so grateful."
The win also gives Points a spot - his first - in the Masters this April. "Pebble Beach may be the most iconic place in America to play golf, and to win here is amazing," he said.
After four birdies and two bogeys through 13 holes, Points's cause was greatly abetted by an improbable eagle on the difficult par-5 14th hole. From about 100 yards, he hit his third shot to the front of the notoriously small and hard tabletop 14th green. It rolled forward and then curled into the cup.
"Hit a little gab wedge that landed in the rough, trickled down and it went in," the 34-year-old, four-time Nationwide Tour winner explained to Kostis.
After gaining a two-stroke advantage with a birdie on the next hole, the par-4 15th, and carding pars the rest of the way, Points maintained that margin all the way to the finish to become the fourth player in the last 20 years to make Pebble Beach his first career PGA Tour victory.
Mahan shot the low round Sunday, a 6-under 66, to end up alone in second at 13-under 273. The 28-year-old California native carded seven birdies and a bogey on the day. "I love coming here," Mahan told reporters afterward. "It's a beautiful place. Got lucky with the weather this week. So it's a fun golf course to play when it's like this."
Tom Gillis (70) ended up alone in third at 11-under 275, while Spencer Levin (70) and second- and third-round leader Steve Marino (74) tied for fourth another stroke back. Marino never found his earlier groove in the final round, posting three birdies, two bogeys and a triple-bogey eight on the par-5 closing hole after his drive found a bunker, he punched out into the fairway from the sand, and his third from 200 yards was pulled into Stillwater Cove.
Tied for sixth at 277 were Nick Watney (67), Aaron Baddeley (71) and Bryce Molder (74). Another shot back at 278 were Australia's Steven Bowditch (69), Phil Mickelson (71), Zack Miller (71) and Jimmy Walker (75).
Mickelson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 4 in the world, didn't play as well as he'd have liked, yet still enjoyed his time in unseasonably sunny conditions at one of golf's truly sublime venues.
"It was really a fun day," Mickelson said. "It was a beautiful day. We had great weather there. Was an opportunity out there to try to catch the lead and I put myself in position where I had some opportunities. It was a fun day. I didn't quite get them to fall but I hit a lot of good putts and I had chances and they just didn't quite go."
So the day belonged to the team of Points and Murray. After completing the round, Murray quipped: "The only chance D.A. had to win was if I could make it through the entire week without ever asking what the initials 'D.A.' stand for. And I didn't. And he's the champion."
But late Sunday afternoon golf fans finally learned Points's real first names - Darren Andrew - while observing a breakthrough win for a player who will return next year to Pebble Beach as the defending champion with his partner, now one of America's best golfing comedians.