PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) Defending champion Tommy Armour III, 2008 U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate and winners of four PGA Tour tournaments this year lead the field for the 37th annual Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational.
Ryan Palmer, Steve Lowery, D.J. Trahan and Chez Reavie, all victorious this season on the PGA Tour, will be joined by former two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen, former U.S. Open winner Scott Simpson and former PGA champion Rich Beem in the 72-hole event that begins Thursday. The event will feature 81 players from the four major tours as well as mini-tour players and club pros.
The first three rounds of the $300,000 event will be played simultaneously at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Del Monte Golf Course.
Palmer is the most recent winner among the 29 PGA Tour entrants, claiming his second career win Nov. 2 at the Ginn sur Mer Classic in Florida.
A two-time PGA Tour titlist, Armour ended more than a four-year winless streak with his win at Pebble Beach last year. He shot a final-round 2-under 70 en route to a 16-under 272 and a two-stroke victory over Ronnie Black and Mediate.
Armour had five top 10 finishes this season in 24 PGA Tour events. He finished 62nd on the money list with more than $1.5 million. It was first season since joining the PGA Tour in 1982, Armour earned more than $1 million.
Mediate, 45, was foiled in his attempt to become the oldest U.S. Open winner in history when he was defeated by Tiger Woods on the first hole of a Monday sudden-death playoff.
Kevin Sutherland, who won this tournament in 2000 and has two runner-up PGA Tour finishes this season, is the top PGA Tour money list entrant, placing 18th with more than $2.5 million.
John Cook, who finished fifth on the money list this season, will be among nine Champions Tour entrants. Jim Thorpe, Roger Maltie and Morris Hatalsky are also entered.
Brittany Lincicome, a 2007 Solheim Cup member, will be among seven LPGA Tour participants. Nine of the 14 Nationwide Tour entrants will be competing on the PGA Tour in 2009.
Juli Inkster, who defeated Mark Brooks by one stroke in 1990, is the only woman to win the tournament.
Following the 54-hole cut, the top 40 pros and 10 amateur teams will play the final round Sunday at Pebble Beach. The winner will earn $60,000.