Brandt Snedeker is tied for the lead at Pebble Beach

Travel deals

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Along with the zaniness that is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am -- including actor Bill Murray dressing up like an 1890s railroad conductor and tennis star Andy Roddick being hoisted by a raucous crowd along the 15th tee -- Brandt Snedeker and James Hahn played some very serious and successful golf.

Snedeker, after consecutive second-place finishes behind two first-rate golfers the previous two weeks -- Tiger Woods at San Diego and Phil Mickelson at Phoenix -- is due for a win.

On one of those blue-sky, picture-postcard afternoons on the Monterey Peninsula, with the ocean crashing against the seawall and the Santa Lucia Mountains visible in the distance, Snedeker Saturday shot 4-under-par 68 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the 15th sub-70 round of his last 16.

His 12-under, three-round total of 202 couldn't get him alone into first place, however. He's sharing the lead with Hahn, who graduated from the University of California, some 120 miles north.

Hahn, 31, and a rookie on the PGA Tour, shot 6-under 66 at Spyglass Hill, one of three courses, along with Pebble and the par-70 Monterey Peninsula Shore Course, which each golfer must play for the first three rounds.

Chris Kirk is third at 203, Patrick Reed at 204. Mickelson, with two balls in the water on the famous 18th at Pebble, took a triple-bogey 8 and posted a 1-over 73 for a 213 total, falling all the way into a tie for 57th.

Mickelson's fall almost was literal. The defending champ, looking for his ball on the rocks at 18, slipped and nearly injured himself.

Most of the celebrity amateurs, including Murray, the winner in 2011, Roddick, Bill Belichick, Aaron Rodgers, Ray Romano and Chris Berman among them, did not make the cut for the final round. Tony Romo, a scratch golfer, Jim Harbaugh, Justin Verlander and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly did qualify.

Snedeker, 32, winner of last year's Tour Championship and the current FedEx Cup points leader, said he thinks he has a "good handle on how Pebble is playing," and that could be to his advantage.

At the 2012 British Open, Snedeker tied for third with Tiger Woods after leading at the midway point, which he said taught him a lesson on when to be aggressive and when to be patient. (Woods is not entered in this event.)

"A lot of it has to do with confidence," said Snedeker, who's from Nashville and attended Vanderbilt. "The last three days, I've been very smart. Pick my spots when to be aggressive, when to play away from certain pins."

Hahn turned pro in 2003 but then went to work for a printing business in Oakland. In 2011, Hahn began working on his game again, and last year won a tournament on what is now the Web.Com Tour.

"I'm not even in next week's tournament," Hahn said of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. "So to me, just a top 10 finish would be great. I've had a great start this year, and winning is a goal. But you can't win if you don't make the cut, so to me that's a priority. I'm just enjoying the moment."

Mickelson, who beat Woods in the 2012 Pebble Beach AT&T, was enjoying his moments until the 18th. He drove into Carmel Bay, went down to see if he had a shot -- he didn't -- and tumbled.

"I got lucky," Mickelson said. "I didn't get hurt."

He took a drop, a penalty shot, then again hit into the water. Finally on the green of the par 5 in six, Mickelson two-putted for an 8.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Newsday Sports on Facebook

advertisement | advertise on newsday