Playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is an incredible week for the 156 amateurs who plunk down big money to play with the professionals at one of the most magical golf sites on the planet.
This week, those amateurs will receive an extra-special something from the organizers of the tournament.
The Monterey Peninsula Foundation, which puts on the PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach, is giving each amateur player a special coin in honor of five-time winner and defending champion Phil Mickelson.
One side of the coin features the tournament trophy with the five years Mickelson has won: 1998, 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2019. On the other side of the coin is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am logo.
The tournament wanted to pay homage to Mickelson but also to the silver dollar ball marker Mickelson carries during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in honor of his grandfather, Al Santos, who was a caddie at Pebble Beach in the earliest years of the club.
“There’s a few things that within our family that go back to this place where my grandfather grew up here and he was one of the original caddies in the caddie group,” Mickelson said. “And he would go around here for 25, 30 cents a loop. And when we would talk about this place and what it meant to him growing up, and so there’s an emotional tie to this place. I don’t think it has anything to do with why I’ve played well here in the past, but you never know, it’s just I always enjoy coming here.”
Mickelson typically only brings out the original silver dollar at Pebble Beach. The rest of the year, he uses a replica. Mickelson said he plans on carrying both the original silver dollar and the commemorative coin this week.
"The fact that the tournament made a replica of kind of showcasing my five wins in the same size and shape as the Morgan head silver dollar is pretty special," he said Wednesday. "I have one with me. I'll probably carry both because I think they're kind of cool and it reminds me that I've had some success here. But my grandfather's coin means a lot to me because it just shows how far we have come as a family."