It was a long time coming. “East Coast bias?” mused U.S. Golf Association official Mike Davis.
But once more it won’t be a long time before the U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach.
It was announced Wednesday, hours before the 2010 Open was to start, that the tournament again will be held at Pebble in 2019.
That would be a sixth time for the famed Monterey Peninsula course over a stretch of 47 years. But it wasn’t until 1972, or the
72nd Open, when Pebble was first used.
The U.S. Amateur will be at Pebble a year earlier, 2018, for a fifth time. That tournament beat the Open to the region by more than 40 years, being held in 1929, Pebble’s 10th year of operation.
It will be a 100th anniversary celebration when the Open is held in 2019. Tiger, if you care, will be 44 that year.
FAMILIAR TURF: Phil Mickelson, who turned 40 on Wednesday, made his pro debut in the 1992 Open at Pebble, the tournament won by Tom Kite. Phil began with a 68 (then 4-under par; but now 3-under, the second hole being changed from a par-5 to a 4). However, the next day Mickelson shot 81 and missed the cut.
His only highlight was reaching the green of the par-5 18th in two and two-putting for a birdie.
“I missed a three-footer the first hole,” Mickelson said after finishing, “and that seemed to set the tone for a tough day. I guess I didn’t show much patience out there when things started to go badly. I tripled the third, but parred the rest of the way through 10 before a double-bogey at 11.”
And 18 years later, he’s still trying to win an Open.