Bill Murray will return for this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Bill Murray, the resident gentle jester, actor-comedian and accomplished amateur golfer, will continue his long tenure at this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Murray, 72, who first played in the PGA Tour event in 1992, was among several celebrities added earlier this week to the tournament’s website player list.

The 14th of the tour’s 44-event season is scheduled Feb. 2-5 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

Actor-comedians Will Arnett, Alfonso Ribeiro and Ray Romano, singer Darius Rucker and retired quarterback Alex Smith, who played for several National Football League teams, were also added to the current 25 celebrity player list.

Regular celebrity participants this year include Kira K. Dixon, the 2015 Miss America, restauranteur Thomas Keller, singer Jake Owen, retired San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, Steve Young, the retired San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback.

Steve John, CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and the AT&T tournament director, annually holds a spot for Murray. The tournament’s most popular entrant sometimes doesn’t confirm his participation until days before the event.

“Bill Murray’s appeal spans generations,” said John. “He’s been a mainstay and genuinely believes in and supports our mission of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation.”

Murray hasn’t played every year since his AT&T debut, but he’s been paired with veteran pro D.A. Points since 2005. Murray also participates in the tournament’s preamble charity events.

Points claimed the first of his three PGA Tour titles in 2011 at the AT&T and won the pro-am division with Murray. Points’ entry hasn’t been confirmed this year, but the duo, both born near Chicago, are expected to be paired again.

Points knew every line of Murray’s seminal golf movie, “Caddyshack,” when the now long-time friends first met. He was thrilled but uncertain how the Del Monte Forest golfing newlyweds would mesh.

“The problem that I always have — and the problem that a significant amount of pros have — is that we just want to play well so badly; it’s Pebble Beach,” said Points.

“But when we got there and I knew I was going to play with Bill I said to my wife, ‘I don’t know if I am going to shoot 60 or 80. So let’s just have a really fun time getting to know someone we have both really enjoyed from all of his movies to all of the stuff he’s done.’ “

Murray’s antics, notably at Pebble Beach where network television cameras are perched, make broadcast highlights. He’s dressed in overalls, in mismatched outfits and worn peculiar hats.

Through the years, Murray, who has 16-handicap, has danced with spectators in sandtraps. He’s dispensed gifts to gallery members, exchanged pleasantries with vocal fans and announced pros’ shots. He’s scrubbed his share of shots and made impressive efforts to help his pro-am team’s score.

Last year, Murray led the gallery singing happy birthday at Monterey Peninsulla Country Club to pro Chris Stroud, who turned age 40.

Murray has helped kids find their parents. He’s made no-look putts just because. He’s had tequila shots with fans and thrown ice cream bars and bananas into the gallery.

“The original Crosby was about fun,” said Murray in a 2013 interview with Golf Digest Magazine. “As it became more corporate, it became less about fun sometimes. You can really cause a joyous moment, if you can sort of build up some sort of expectation, and then it actually takes place. That’s what we try to do. Put on a little pressure, to make it more fun. To have a little more joy.”

Reigning titlist Tom Hoge, 2022 runner-up Jordan Spieth, the 2017 AT&T winner and third-place finisher Beau Hossler are among the returnees in the 156-player field.

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