Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Interesting Pairings Revealed at the 2012 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Pairings were released early Wednesday morning, and, as always, they are something interesting.

Ricky Barnes has been paired with Head Coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.

Fresh off taking the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl this decade, Belichick will need the 2011 T20 Masters finisher to be on point if the they plan to keep up with pairings the likes of Tiger Woods / Tony Romo (Tony's a scratch golfer), and defending champions D.A. Points / Bill Murray.

Murray and Points during the final round in 2011.

Back in 2007 Belichick told Golf Digest, "My handicap is closer to 15. It's been as low as 12 and as high as 18. I play only 10 times a year, in the off season, so my game comes and goes."

Coincidentally, Ricky's father, Bruce, was a punter for New England from 1973 until 1974. Drafted 209th overall out of UCLA, Mr. Barnes averaged 37.4 yards per punt according to during his 2-year NFL career. (Side note - the current punter for New England, who similarly has been with the Pats for just two years, Zolton Mesko, has an interesting story himself.)

Another pair worth picking is the Rod Pampling / Charles Schwab duo.

Chuck, who's been interested in golf since age five, started caddying at age 13 with intentions to earn his first dollar. As the years progressed, he realized that he simply didn't have the time needed to fulfil his boyhood dream of becoming a pro-golfer.

Years went by and assets were ascertained. Schwab kept golf as his favorite hobby, realizing along the way that to stay sharp, he'd need some help - much like investing.

"There's a wonderful parallel between golf and investing," Schwab says on his website. "Any of these kinds of pursuits, where you really want to be better and better, there's nothing like the perspective of a professional. To help you out, to come to your best objective, which is of course, in investing, to make sure you have enough for all of your life."

Perhaps Pampling will talk to Chuck this weekend about investing part of his $13.2M career PGA Tour earnings -- make the Friday afternoon cut and that's two more days of potential advice, Rod!

Not to mention Charles Schwab is the official Investment Group of the PGA Tour.

How's that for motivation?

Former SBz Bro of the Day Aaron Rodgers will continue to explore his off-the-field talents -- anyone who watched the Super Bowl 46 pre-game coverage knows he's not quite ready for a desk job -- he's paired up with D.J. Trahan.

And of course, ever since Bob Barker annihilated Happy Gilmore in the 1996 Universal Studios Pro-Am adaptation, there's always the potential for a sour pair of grapes to emerge at Pebble.

This year's potential brawlers could very well be found in 2008 Masters Champion Trevor Immelman and funny man George Lopez. Though he finished first, Immelman caught heat in 2008 for over zealously flexing his biceps on the 18th Green at Augusta after shooting a mediocre 75 in his final round. Mixing testosterone with multiple canceled television shows and a few triple bogeys should stir things up a bit...

I actually spoke with Lopez's caddy, Michael Collins, who writes for ESPN Golf, via twitter Wednesday night, who made it clear that he and Mr. Lopez will be "bringing the FUN back to golf this week!"

That's what this Pro-Am is all about: FUN!

Everyone have a great weekend watching all the wacky pairs, and good luck to all the participants!

Hosted by Pebble Beach National since 1937, this year's field features 156 Pro-Am pairings. First round tee time is set for Thursday at 8 a.m., shotgun-style, throughout each of Pebble Beach's three world-class courses.

See you at Spy Glass!


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