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Cook Wins at Pebble Again, But Meyers Hits Shot for the Ages


J


ohn Cook won the Nature Valley First Tee Open the boring way. Chris Meyers won it the impossible way. Cook put away the First Tee Open like the Pebble


Beach


veteran that he is, safely navigating the treacherous 18th hole with a tap-in par to protect a one-shot lead. Cook closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 11-under 204, one stroke better than Tom Byrum.


The win was Cook’s


10th on the Champions Tour, and it bookends a spectacular career. Cook, 56, won 11 times on the PGA Tour, with his first com- ing 33 years ago at the Bing Crosby National


Pro-Am. Cook’s Pebble Beach history also includes a win at the 1975 California State Amateur. “This is a special place and a special win,” said Cook, who opened with a 4-under 67 at Poppy Hills before shooting 68-69 at Pebble Beach. “Pebble Beach means so much to me and my family. We have so many memories here.” But 20 minutes before


Cook won, Meyers hit a shot to win the junior competition that will go down in Pebble Beach lore. Trailing by a stroke going into the final hole, Meyers tugged his drive left and sent it sailing toward Still- water Cove.


But like Hale Irwin at the 1984 Bing Crosby, Meyers’ shot ricocheted off the rocks and back into the fairway of the par 5, leaving just 204 yards in. Needing a birdie to tie


John Cook 14 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2014 and an eagle to win, Meyers


pounced on his good fortune, sending a 4-iron straight at the traditional Sunday hole location, which is always tucked behind the right greenside bunker. The shot landed softly on the front edge of the green, bounced three times, and tracked straight into the hole. “I was just stunned,” said


Meyers about his walk-off albatross that gave him a two-stroke win over 2014 Junior Tour Player of the Year Josh McCarthy and fellow JTNC competitor Katie Horsford. “It’s just amazing that somehow that ball went into the hole.” Meyers is a 17-year-old


Stanford commit from the First Tee of Tucson. He teamed up with two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, and the duo finished birdie-birdie-albatross to shoot a final-round 8-under


64 and post 22 under in the better-ball event. And of course, Meyers


hit one of the greatest shots in the history of Pebble Beach, including the only albatross recorded in tournament play on the 18th hole. “It was the greatest shot


I’ve ever witnessed,” said RJ Harper, the executive vice president for golf and retail and the Pebble Beach Co. “I was behind the green and saw Meyers’ shot when it left his clubface. It never left the flag. To take on that flag with a 4-iron, the U.S. Open final round pin, tucked just over the front bunker, was gutsy. And with the tournament on the line! Just incredible. In all my 30 years at Pebble Beach, I’ve never experienced a finer, more en- joyable golf shot in my life.” –K.M.


Chris Meyers


PHOTO: AP


PHOTO: MONTEREY HERALD/VERN FISHER


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