Brady at the Pebble
A very Brady day at Pebble
Inside Bay Area
PEBBLE BEACH — Quiet, so quiet. Golf course quiet. PGA tournament quiet. And then from someplace near the 14th green at Poppy Hills Golf Course shouted, "Brady. Al Davis wants you."
Tom Brady, spun round and yelled back, "I'll never play for the Raiders."
He likely will play again in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The CEO of the Pebble Beach Co., Bill Perocchi, is from New England and a Patriots fan.
But for Brady, making his third appearance in the AT&T, it never again may be like this year, when he's in a foursome with his dad, Tom Brady Sr., a San Mateo businessman.
Here they were, the kid who had been going to the tournament long before hewas going to Serra High, and the former kid who had been going to the tournament, well, "Back when Bing Crosby and Bob Hope were playing," Brady Sr. remembered, meaning the late 1950s.
And here they were, proud father, famous son, on God's green grass in the brilliant sunshine, up on a hillside in the Del Monte Forest where you could see, if not forever, at least parts of Monterey Bay through the tall pines.
A long walk spoiled? Not for these two, 28-year-old Tom Brady paired with pro Frank Lickliter, Tom Brady Sr. paired with Rocco Mediate.
"It doesn't get any better than this," the father mused when standing on the 13th tee. Tom Sr. is a member at California Golf Club in South San Francisco, a 10 handicapper, although one who hadn't been playing for several months.
"We got the invitation," he said, "and I've been practicing like mad for two weeks."
Brady, the quarterback played in 2003, when the Patriots were not in the Super Bowl, and 2004, when they were, and he virtually took off his pads, after winning the MVP award and beating the Carolina Panthers, and put on his golf spikes.
The Patriots left the playoffs early this season, their hopes of becoming the first to win three Super Bowls in a row, halted by the Denver Broncos. Brady Jr. at least had a few days to hone his game, which in early summer gets him down to an impressive handicap of 7.
It was a struggle out there Thursday, if spending 51/2 hours in a setting so wonderful, in weather so magnificent, accurately can be described as a struggle.
Lickliter, who just regained his playing privileges at qualifying school in December, never made a birdie, hit a ball out-of-bounds over the 12th green and shot a 4-over 76. The Lickliter-Brady Jr. best ball was almost a worst ball, a 1-over 73.
Mediate had it to 2-under but bogeyed the last two holes to finish even. Brady Sr. helped three shots for a best-ball 69.
The tournament leader was Luke Donald at 10-under 62, while the pro-am leaders were Brian Davis-Ronald Turner and Greg Kraft-Mike Donnelly, with net best-ball scores of 14-under 58.
"I played countless rounds with my father," Brady Jr. said. "We've been excited, talking about this for weeks. He's been trying hard. I've been trying hard. It was fun being out here with him. There's no one I'd rather play with."
Now that Tom Jr. has matured and learned golf etiquette.
"I used to have the worst temper," Brady said. "One time my father had to yank me off the course."
That was a long time ago on the little nine-holer, since closed, inside the oval of Bay Meadows racetrack.
The Bradys are in the "A" group, the people who'll be at Pebble Beach and thus on television Saturday. Behind them Thursday was Bill Murray, chiding and joking and keeping the gallery entertained. Behind Murray was defending champion Phil Mickelson, who had an unusual 37-30-67.
Tom the quarterback had flipped the coin Sunday before Super Bowl XL. "I'd like to have been playing," he said. "It's a great day, a life-changing day, but at the same time I was real happy for a lot of those Steelers, who I know, like and respect."
A radio guy questioned Brady's absence from this Sunday's Pro Bowl and mentioned Brady was having surgery next week on a sports hernia.
"How are you feeling?" Brady was asked, drawing the response, "Fine, and I'd feel a lot better if I shot 5-under par today."
So, dad, how does it feel to be a celebrity?
"I'm not a celebrity," senior said with a laugh, "I'm Tom's father."
And wouldn't want to be anything else.
Art Spander won top columnist honors in the Golf Writers Association of America's 2004 contest. He can be reached at
Unfortunately, the love and respect were not reciprocated.
The STEALERS did not have the common decency to shake hand with our Tommy.
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