AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: 25 Years

For the past 25 years, AT&T has been a proud sponsor of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and as we approach the 2010 tournament, we're taking a little time to look back and enjoy some of the people, pars, and philanthropy that the events have brought together over the years.

Winner: Phil Mickelson-269
Celebrity Attendance: Emmitt Smith,Andy Garcia, George Lopez, Ray Romano, Huey Lewis
Money Raised For Charity: $5,000,000

The 2005 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am featured a return champion as Phil Mickelson earned the title for the second time by launching a big lead early in the tournament - and holding on to it. His performance at Pebble Beach that year made him the first wire-to-wire winner across 72 holes in the history of the event. In the Pro-Am competition, the team of Barry McCollam and Joel Kribel earned the top spot.

The tournament also saw the return of a champion volunteer: Ed Bispo, the friendly face who had been greeting golf spectators and handing out programs for the event for nearly half a century. Back in 1947, he joined the tournament (then called the "Bing Crosby Professional-Amateur") as a caddy. A few years later, he started handing out programs, and he's been a fixture at the tournament year after year for many who come to enjoy the game.

The 2005 tournament generated nearly $5 million for area charities, including the Central Coast YMCA, The First Tee of Monterey County and many others.

Winner: Vijay Singh-272
Celebrity Attendance: Lynn Swan, Tom Brady, Glen Frey, Jimmy Connors, Kevin James, Wayne Gretzsky
Money Raised For Charity: $4,000,000

Although Phil Mickelson launched into the lead early in the tournament, 2004 was Vijay Singh's year to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Singh's game in 2004 eclipsed both Mickelson's and Jeff Maggert's, among others that year. His win at Pebble Beach gave Singh his 12th consecutive top-10 finish, launching him into a series of wins that made him the first golfer to win more than $10 million in a single season. And, what started at Pebble Beach led to Singh earning the honor of the No. 1 Player in the world.

In 2004, the Pro-Am competition was swarming with celebrities as usual, including Emmitt Smith, Chris O'Donnell, Kevin Costner, Ray Romano and Super Bowl champ Tom Brady, among others. But, it was the team of Jerry Kelly and Robert Halmi Jr. who earned the No. 1 spot in the Pro-Am competition, edging out the team of Singh and Ted Forstmann by two strokes.

The 2004 tournament generated more than $5 million for area charities. Among them was The First Tee, an initiative of the World Golf Foundation providing young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship through golf and character education.

The donation came just months after the opening of the newest of 157 First Tee chapters in the Twin Creeks Golf Course in Salinas, Calif.

Winner: Davis Love III-274
Celebrity Attendance: Emmitt Smith, Donald Trump, Andy Garcia, Dan Marino, Oscar De La Hoya, Wayne Gretzky, Tom Brady, Carson Daly
Money Raised For Charity: $6,000,000

In 2003, Davis Love III returned to his winning ways at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the second time in three years. Finishing ahead of Tom Lehman and Tim Herron, Love joined an esteemed list of AT&T veteran golfers that year. His win at Pebble Beach made him the fifth champion of the past eight over the age of 38.

The event featured a tie for top honors in the Pro-Am competition: the team of Phil Tataurang and Craig Heatley shared the top spot with Brad Faxon and Tom Ryan that year.

Professionals and celebrities helped attract a big following of fans at the AT&T Pebble Beach tournament ... but let's not forget about the real fans: their caddies.

How crucial is a caddy? Besides carrying the weight of the team (literally), caddies often give advice and encourage their pros along the greens. In Monterey, caddies find the finest perks. Complete with their own hospitality tent, caddies at the AT&T Pebble Beach tournament will find a big screen TV, comfy couch, ping-pong table and a gaggle of goodies to eat. Don't believe us? Back in 2001, this year's champion, Davis Love III, passed some time while he was waiting to start his round by playing a game of ping-pong in the "Caddyshack."

All games aside, the 2003 tournament's serious business was fundraising. That year's event helped to raise nearly $6 million for Peninsula area education, youth, and community service programs, including The First Tee of Monterey County.

Winner: Matt Gogel-274
Celebrity Attendance: Mark Grace, Jimmy Conners, Bill Rusell, Roger Clemens, Donald Trump and Michael Bolton
Money Raised For Charity: $2,000,000

After two previous second-place finishes at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (in 2000 and 2001) Matt Gogel dueled rookie Pat Perez (among many other pros) for the top spot in 2002. A gracious winner, Gogel was noted for his kindness to Perez throughout the tournament, and he later earned the top spot by just a three stroke lead.

In the Pro-Am competition, the AT&T welcomed a group of celebrity regulars: Kevin Costner, Kenny G, Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Romano, Huey Lewis and actor James Woods. That year, the team of Brian Claar and Randall Mays earned the top spot in the Pro-Am division.

The tournament also bid farewell to golf legend "Slammin' Sam" Snead, who passed away in May 2002. Snead was a pioneer of the "Bing Crosby Professional-Amateur" as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was originally called in the late '30s, having won the first two tournaments in 1937 and 1938. Snead's 82 career victories is just one of his entries in the record books. His 50-year run of golf victories left a lasting legacy for golfers - and sports fans - young and old.

Gogel wasn't the only winner that year. Funds raised by the 2002 tournament allowed the Monterey Peninsula Foundation to distribute more than $4 million to those in need across the region. Children's Services International (CSI) was the year's featured charity. Serving more than 2,500 children and their families, CSI was able to expand its reach by building a new facility that will aid one of the highest child care demand areas in Monterey County.

Winner: Davis Love III-272
Celebrity Attendance: Ray Romano, Craig T. Nelson, Ken Griffey Jr., Jerry Rice and Kevin Sorbo
Money Raised For Charity: $4,000,000

The 2001 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am celebrated an unexpected victory and bid farewell to an unsung hero of the tournament.

After teeing off seven strokes behind the lead from the first day of play, an unexpected Davis Love III would later overtake Matt Gogel in the final rounds - and take home the trophy. Sadly, 2001 also brought us a reason to lament the Pebble Beach icon we loved, cheered for, and laughed with through the years: Jack Lemmon.

Dubbed one of the 'Grumpy Old Golfers,' Jack Lemmon was a fan favorite for spectators at Pebble Beach. Lemmon left us after 25 dedicated years of golf strokes and shenanigans.

Lemmon never won a tournament - or even made the first cut. But this two-time Oscar winner was known to pass up prime acting roles to spend some time in the sun with Pro-Am partner of 17 years, Peter Jacobsen. How did they kick off their infamous partnership? Lemmon simply called him up saying, "Hey, Slick. Hear you need some help with your golf game. Want to play?" Who could resist?

Lemmon entertained the crowd by taking too many practice swings or hitting a divot or two - even catching a piggy-back ride courtesy of faithful (and patient) sidekick, Jacobsen. All fun and games aside - truly an experienced player, Lemmon came close to qualifying in 1998. Only two strokes away, a string of storms fatefully stole his chances from moving on. Though his hopes of winning may have been blown away, the memory of Jack Lemmon's dedication to our tournament will always be above par.

Proceeds from the 2001 tournament were used to disburse more than $4 million to support those in need in Northern California and to provide $100,000 to support relief efforts for the tragic events of September 11.

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