Curtis Da Silva
AT&T Open is more than just glamor
Students gather around the 18th tee box at Spyglass, straining to see their treasured celebrities. For some, this is a moment to take a recess from the pressure of school; for others, it is a moment they have been waiting for all year. The opportunity to get an autograph from Josh Allen, Canelo, or even Macklemore, a crowd favorite. As we approach this exciting time of the year, we look at what makes this week so special for many Stevenson students.
Portions of the Stevenson Campus border Spyglass Hill Golf Course, one of the host courses for the annual AT&T Pro-Am golf tournament. Every year some of the world’s most popular celebrities pay a visit to the Monterey Peninsula and Stevenson students and faculty warmly welcome famous actors, athletes, and musicians. A memorable week for many of the tournament participants, the events serves the dual purposes of having fun and raising money for charity.
Professional golf tournaments are typically staid affairs where people are ordered to be silent, there's little or no interaction between the fans and the players, and certainly no screaming. However, the AT&T Pro-Am aims to be special. Each year hundreds if not thousands of people follow Bill Murray, who has been a staple of the event since he first played in 1992. James Raia of the Monterey Herald puts it simply: “Bill Murray’s appeal spans generations,” and, “He’s been a mainstay and genuinely believes in and supports our mission of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation.”
Celebrities like Murray make this event stand apart from others, creating a loose and casual feel with more focus on the fans' experience. Murray states, “You can 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.”
For Stevenson students, the excitement is a walking distance away from campus. Many students trek down towards the 17th green and 18th tee of Spyglass on the hillside, hoping to catch a glance of their favorite celebrity. They often even snatch an autograph or picture. The tradition of the Pro-Am golf tournament has been alive for many years, to laugh with friends while removing oneself from the stress of a school day.
This year the Pro-Am kicked off on January 30th and ran through the 5th of February. For many years, at the end of the round, Stevenson students and faculty members hand Bill Murray a bucket hat with “Stevenson” labeled in big green text across the front. As he makes his way up to the 18th tee, donning his new hat, students stop him to take pictures or make jokes.