NATIVE SON: J.B. Holmes has been to two major tournaments at Valhalla, but not with his golf clubs.
Holmes, who grew up in Campbellsville, Ky., and played at the University of Kentucky, figures he has played Valhalla over 20 times, some with the Wildcats' team and some on his own.
He was first there in 1996 for the PGA Championship, working the scoreboard on the 14th green the year Mark Brooks beat Kentucky native Kenny Perry in a playoff. He was part of the gallery in 2000 when Tiger Woods and Bob May staged a terrific duel on the back nine, and Woods beat him in a three-hole playoff.
"We only stayed for about eight holes," Holmes said. "We couldn't hardly see anything."
Holmes is No. 5 in the Ryder Cup standings, which means little at this point since the standings fluctuate so wildly, but he is the kind of player whom captain Paul Azinger wants on his team - a big hitter who can intimidate with his length.
How's this for intimidating? Holmes was asked the craziest thing his length has done for him at Valhalla.
"I hit pitching wedge into 18 one time," he said.
The 18th is a par 5 that measured 542 yards in the 2000 PGA Championship.
OCEAN-FRONT PROPERTY: The European Tour was played in India for the first time last week, which would seem to put Daniel Chopra in a tough position. Chopra was born in Sweden, but raised by his grandparents in India.
But the allure of Pebble Beach kept him away.
"This is my favorite event on the PGA Tour," Chopra said. "I loved it the first time I came here. I don't think I'll ever miss this event. They can write me down for life."
How much does he love the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am? Chopra caught himself looking at real estate brochures, and he planned to look at houses for sale on the Monterey Peninsula.
"I've won twice in the last three months," said Chopra, who won last fall in south Florida and the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii. "I'm sure the mortgage brokers will be happy to see me coming."
RUNAWAY LEADERS: Blowouts are hard to find in golf, although Tiger Woods seems to manage.
Woods is among 23 players to have won PGA Tour events by at least five shots over the last 10 years, but it's no contest when listing the number of times it happens. He has won by at least five shots 13 times since 1998, and three times by double digits.
Phil Mickelson is next on the list, having won three times by at least five shots, the largest in 2006 when he won the BellSouth Classic by 13 shots the week before his second Masters victory.
Davis Love III, Vijay Singh and Kenny Perry are the only other players since 1998 to have won by at least five shots on more than one occasion, each doing it twice. Both of Perry's routs came at Colonial, where he won by six in 2003 and by seven in 2005.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Every PGA Tour winner in 2008 except for Tiger Woods has missed a cut this year.
FINAL WORD: "Listen, we all know that everybody's goal out here is to beat the guy and challenge him. I just think that a lot of times, people talk more about it, as opposed to letting the clubs do it for them." Charles Howell III on trying to beat Tiger Woods.