November 24, 2008–It's pretty difficult to set yourself apart as a champion in a pro tournament at Pebble Beach. But that's exactly what former Las Vegas resident and 2008 Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Armour III has done by winning the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational for the second time in a row. He becomes the only golfer to win this event in consecutive years, and joins Mark Brooks as the only player to have won the event twice. Armour III, who grew up playing Las Vegas golf courses, knocked in a very long birdie putt on the final hole to win, and barely survived after entering the final round with a 5-shot lead.
The Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational is one of the most unique events on the pro schedule because players from the LPGA Tour, PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour play against each in other in the stroke-play format, making it the only tournament of its kind. The event has been played since 1972 and has a long and prestigious history, even though it isn't an official event on any of the pro tours. Armour III won in 2007, and then this year narrowly defeated Scott Simpson and Brock Mackenzie to win the 37th annual tournament. Pebble Beach Golf Links is one of the most historic golf courses in the world and annually hosts several events on the pro tours and is a past host of multiple U.S. Open events. Other champions claiming wins at Pebble Beach tournaments–not just the Callaway event–include Simpson, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and many others.
"It wasn't easy, then again, winning a golf tournament is never easy," Armour told Monterey Herald correspondent Jerry Stewart following the victory. "But that's what I like about golf. It's always testing you … On a day when the wind picks up at Pebble Beach, it's a challenge. You can't just throw the ball up in the air. I hit some shots that I thought would be close to being good that didn't turn out good." Armour III finished with a four-day total of 10-under par 278 (66-71-65-76). Click now to read the entire article written by Stewart.
Armour III grew up in Las Vegas and is the grandson of the Silver Scot, Tommy Armour, who is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and one of the best the game has ever known. The elder Armour was also well-known for his flashy style and attitude. Armour III played college golf at the University of New Mexico for current UNLV Golf Head Coach Dwaine Knight, who has never been surprised with Armour's ability to shoot low scores and win events all over the world. Armour III still owns the PGA Tour's all-time scoring total record (254) set when he won the 2003 Texas Valero Open and Armour III also shot 60 during the 1999 Las Vegas Invitational. Armour III also won the 1990 Phoenix Open.
"Tommy was always a free spirit and had a certain charisma and people loved to be around him, even back then," says Knight, who also remembers Armour setting fashion trends while in school. "Obviously I knew the history of the family and that he came from a great golfing background, but what I remember about him is that he was a player with tremendous courage who wasn’t afraid to give it a whirl, no matter the situation. He was and is fearless in a lot of ways and that is probably why he owns the all-time PGA Tour scoring record. He has that go-for-it attitude."
Armour III's late father, Tommy II, was a well-respected surgeon in Las Vegas, while Armour's brother Sandy, a fine golfer in his own right, has served as Tommy's caddie for most of 2008. The win at the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational caps a career year for Armour III who won more than $1.5 million on the PGA Tour in 2008, and finished in the top 10 five times. Armour III turned 49 in October but still hasn't lost the passion for a game he loves.
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