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Amateurs in AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am getting special Phil Mickelson-inspired gift

February 6, 2020

Phil Mickelson is defending his AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am title this week, and Pebble has long been a place close to his heart. Why, you ask? Because Mickelson’s grandfather, Al Santos, was one of Pebble Beach’s original caddies when it opened in 1919.

Santos always carried a silver dollar, which is now in Mickelson’s possession. Mickelson only uses that coin to mark his ball during Pebble week, while every other Tour week he’ll use a replica of it.

But now there are a few more replicas to go around — all of the amateurs in this year’s event are getting a replica of Mickelson’s cherished silver dollar.

Here’s Mickelson during his press conference on Wednesday, explaining exactly why the silver dollar meant so much to his grandpa (and means so much to him).

“[My grandfather] had to quit school in fourth grade to help work and support the family. And he always felt poor, and he would carry around this silver dollar here that I have. It’s from 1900, it’s an old Morgan head silver dollar that he would leave in his pocket,” Mickelson said. “He would reach in and touch whenever he felt poor and it made him feel like he had money. And so he often times would go to bed hungry and not eat because he wouldn’t spend it. He just wanted to always feel like he had it. And so our family’s come a long ways as we look back at him caddying here for 35 cents a loop to now winning seven figure checks and having my brother with me and so forth and what this great game of golf has given our family for the last couple generations. So we’re very appreciative.

“The fact that the tournament made a replica of kind of showcasing my five wins in the same size and shape as the Morgan head silver dollar is pretty special. I have one with me. I’ll probably carry both because I think they’re kind of cool and it reminds me that I’ve had some success here. But my grandfather’s coin means a lot to me because it just shows how far we have come as a family.”

If you’re looking for more information on Mickelson’s grandfather, check out this deep dive from our Michael Bamberger during last year’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Mickelson’s first round begins at 11:22 a.m. ET on Thursday at Spyglass Hill.

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