Kevin Streelman (L) and Larry Fitzgerald put on a show at Pebble Beach
(Eric Risberg/AP photo)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA (February 11, 2018) - Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald teamed with tour pro Kevin Streelman to run away with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, closing with a 12-under 60 to finish at 41 under par and lap the field by seven shots.
Fitzgerald is a member of Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale, and has a long-time friendship with Streelman, who represents Whisper Rock on the Tour and began his stint there as a caddie before turning professional. The pro footballer carries a 10.6 handicap, and was getting a course handicap of 13 for the tournament.
WATCH: LARRY FITZGERALD GETS FITTED FOR CLUBS BY GOLF DIGEST IN 2016
“He played great today, and this was special,” said Streelman, who shot 13 under for the tournament to finish sixth, four shots behind the winner Ted Potter, Jr. “We’ll remember this for a long time.”
Streelman and Fitzgerald started the day with a one-shot lead and lost it briefly on the first few holes before kicking it into high gear and pulling away from the field. Their final round of 60 in the best-ball-net format was four shots lower than any other team on Sunday, and Fitzgerald showed that his mental toughness crosses over into his second sport by performing well when the crowds were their biggest and the national TV cameras were on him.
When Fitzgerald made a bomb for a net eagle on the par-four 13th, it gave the duo the separation they needed to finish it off.
Fitzgerald becomes the seventh pro athlete to win the crystal trophy, and the first since Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino in 1988.
Another pro athlete, Houston Astros ace pitcher Justin Verlander, teamed with Russell Knox to finish third in the event, eight shots back of the winners.
Fitzgerald is also the first African-American amateur to win the Pro-Am, although he downplayed the significance of that achievement afterward.
“It’s great but I’m just hoping moving forward we don’t have to talk about color anymore,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s just about us as one as people. … But that’s quite an accomplishment.”
Earlier in the week, the future pro football Hall-of-Famer contrasted the demands and mindset of playing a physically demanding, fast-paced sport like football with playing the slower, more analytical game of golf.
“Football is just reactionary — I see the ball and I catch it,” said Fitzgerald. “I see guys and I try to make them miss. It just happens, you don’t have time to think about it. In golf, you have to think about everything. The ball is below my feet. The wind is left to right. The pin is back right. It’s definitely the hardest game I’ve ever played.”
“It was me being completely out of my comfort zone, not being a professional, just dealing with what comes I think that’s what made it special for me,” said Fitzgerald to the Bay Area News Group. “This game is so difficult, and I think you even have more respect for the guys who win and play consistently at a high level because this is the hardest game out there.”
The Bay Area News Group contributed to this story
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ABOUT THE AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
One of the most exciting events on the PGA TOUR,
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is contested annually in
front of over 190,000 spectators and millions of
television viewers on three of the Monterey
premier golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links,
Hill Golf Course, and Monterey Peninsula Country
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