PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- As far as I'm concerned, Tiger Woods' winning streak will remain intact no matter what the outcome of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
This doesn't count because it isn't a golf tournament, it's a joke. A bad one at that. As unfunny as Drew Carey.
If you wanted to watch a legitimate sporting event Sunday you would have been better off turning to the Pro Bowl or the NHL All-Star Game, which ought to tell you something.
When the weather isn't postponing this golf tournament, the amateurs are bogging it down.
There was stuff going on here that would drive the average weekend hacker crazy, let alone pros battling for a $720,000 check on one of the world's finest golf courses.
That is, unless waiting to hit shots while a guy rolls yo-yos on the putting green, or suffering through six-hour rounds sounds like a normal way to play a tournament.
In other words, how is a guy supposed to chase Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan in the history books with Tom Smothers and Ray Romano in the way?
Woods is at five consecutive victories and apparently won't get No. 6 to tie Hogan or a chance at Nelson's record of 11. He shot a 68 Sunday and is five shots behind leaders Mark Brooks and Matt Gogel.
Can't he receive a few strokes for having to play behind Smothers and Romano? Talk about your handicaps.
On the 15th hole, for example, Smothers' group finished putting, and as Woods stood over his approach shot Smothers lingered behind and did some of his yo-yo tricks, spinning the yo-yo toward the hole from the fringe. Woods' next shot sailed over the green.
Later, when asked if all the yo-yo stuff bothered him, Woods tried to be as diplomatic as possible. He paused. He looked down. He offered a small smile.
''Well,'' he said. '' It was, uh ... it's been interesting. I don't know. He's having a fun, and that's fine. But just as long as he doesn't get in the way of play in his group and the group behind.''
Ah, but he did. So did Romano, whose antics included making Woods' group wait while he entertained the gallery around the 18th hole.
It's probably no coincidence that Smothers' and Romano's professional playing partners, Randy Marchman and Eric Booker, are at 16 over and nine over, respectively.
When players weren't holding things up, the weather was. Not at Pebble Beach, mind you, where it was the type of day you see on the postcards of this place.
But over at Spyglass Hill, one of the two other courses used for this tournament, the fog settled in so thickly that play had to be suspended. In the interest of fairness, PGA officials ordered play suspended at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills as well so the players at Pebble would not gain an advantage by playing in better conditions.
So, for 35 minutes, the world's best player took a seat on what has to be the world's best bench. It sits right between the seventh green and the eighth tee, where the golf course juts out into the Pacific Ocean. As the waves crashed below, Woods chilled out while Ken Griffey Jr., O'Meara's amateur partner tried to keep them loose with jokes.
He couldn't keep Woods in his groove. Whatever momentum Woods built with birdies on three of the first seven holes was gone. Tiger wound up bogeying the eighth hole.
''I was kind of frustrating from the standpoint of both Mark and I, because I was 3 under and he was 4 under through seven holes,'' Woods said. ''We were both playing well, a lot of good shots, and it's frustrating when you can't keep your rhythm going.''
Weather has traditionally been a problem in this tournament, which has traditionally been held in January or early February. Not only do the delays wreak havoc with schedules, when the skies are clear enough to play the grass is so wet the players constantly use lift, clean and place rules (''lift, clean and cheat,'' Woods calls it). The greens are so bumpy, each putt takes more hops than Sammy Sosa in the middle of one of his home-run binges. That's why it's time to take a serious look at the tradition. The stakes have increased too dramatically since the days when it consisted of Bing Crosby and his boys.
The PGA and corporate sponsors have come in and taken over. That's why the Crosby family doesn't even want the name associated with the event anymore.
If it can't be a quaint clambake anymore, they ought to drop the charade and make it a real tournament, held on one course, consisting of professionals. By trying to sit on the fence between homey and serious, it loses on both sides.
The players might wind up making the decision for them.
Lee Janzen took his shots earlier in the week when he said, ''It's a unique event. We were already breaking a couple of rules before we teed up,'' and basically said he didn't see any reason to come back.
Woods, clearly frustrated by all the peripheral junk, would offer no firmer a commitment than ''we'll see'' when asked about his plans to return regularly.
Based on the way things went this week, don't be surprised if there's one thing we won't see here in the future: Tiger Woods.
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