Sport Golf

Sunday 4 December 2016

Timberlake's tuneful cameo impresses Rose

William S Callahan

Published 13/02/2016 | 02:30

Justin Timberlake plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Getty Images)
Justin Timberlake plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Getty Images)

The spirit of the $7million AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was captured beautifully in a little cameo witnessed by around 20 people in round one on Thursday.

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Pro golfers are gods to celebrities, sport stars, and business moguls who love the game and play it as their hobby.

The AT&T Pro-Am, played in beautiful surroundings over three top courses on the Monterey Peninsula, has brought 156 amateurs inside the ropes in one of the most popular tournaments on the PGA Tour.

Some are low-handicap performers who take the sport seriously, but they know the gulf between their best and the quality of Tour players is unbridgeable.

That works both ways. Take the two Justins, Rose and Timberlake, for example. They share a mutual respect for each other’s standing in their respective professions.

Rose and Timberlake, a 2-handicap, played alongside William McGirt and his amateur partner, Alfonso Ribeiro, actor, film director and singer, who also plays off two.

The English Ryder Cup star has experienced some great moments in his golfing career, notably the US Open win of 2013, but admitted to a pang of envy when Timberlake took time out for an impromptu musical interlude during their first round on the Spyglass Hill course.

“There was just a nice moment off the back of the 16th tee where JT grabbed a guitar and sung one of his songs.  Not many people saw it, because there was only like 20 people back there.

“That’s obviously when you really appreciate how someone can grab a guitar, go a cappella and sound so awesome. You have a better appreciation. You see him hit not maybe so many great golf shots, but then you realise, ‘Ah, that’s pretty damn special right there’. So we all have our own skill set,” said Rose.

All the teams, including Shane Lowry/Dermot Desmond, Pádraig Harrington/JP McManus, and Paul Dunne with his amateur partner Peter Dawson, play 54 holes together before the cut comes after round three.

Meanwhile, the European Tour’s Tshwane Open in Pretoria, South Africa was hit by weather delays yesterday, and round two has to be completed early this morning.

South Africa’s Michael Anthony and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel were among the players who completed 36 holes.

Anthony leads on seven-under par, with Schwartzel his nearest challenger on five-under. The projected cut was three-over par. Ireland’s Kevin Phelan was on four-over following a second round of 71. Peter Lawrie shot a second 76 and missed the cut on plus-12. Ruaidhri McGee withdrew after round one.

On the amateur front, the GUI created history at the Union’s Annual General Meeting in Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links yesterday by changing its constitution to permit governance by a Board instead of the traditional Executive Committee.

The Board will consist of 11 members, to include an independent chairman and two independent members.

“The introduction of a Board, with external competency-based members, is one of a number of steps that the GUI is taking towards creating a more open organisation” said Pat Finn, CEO of the GUI.

Kevin McIntyre, of Ardee and Seapoint GC, who is a past secretary of CONGU, has become the 68th President of the GUI.

Tshwane Open, Live, Sky Sports 4, 10.30am

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.00pm

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