Carolina Hurricanes owner Thomas Dundon, left, watches as Hunter Mahan hits out of a bunker up to the 14th green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 in Pebble Beach, Calif. Mahan shot a 6-under-par 66 and tied for the lead. The two will play together in the tournament again this week. Eric Risberg AP
Carolina Hurricanes owner Thomas Dundon, left, watches as Hunter Mahan hits out of a bunker up to the 14th green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 in Pebble Beach, Calif. Mahan shot a 6-under-par 66 and tied for the lead. The two will play together in the tournament again this week. Eric Risberg AP

Luke DeCock

Tom Dundon turns focus from hockey and Hurricanes to golf this week

By Luke DeCock

ldecock@newsobserver.com

February 07, 2018 08:13 AM

While his hockey team slogs its way through an eight-game homestand, 2-2-1 through the first five games, new Carolina Hurricanes owner Thomas Dundon is a little preoccupied with a different kind of elite competition: Dundon will be playing with his close friend Hunter Mahan in the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am starting Thursday.

Thomas Dundon arrives before he was introduced as the buyer and new majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes at a press conference held at PNC Arena ion Jan. 12, 2018.
Chris Seward cseward@newsobserver.com

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Dundon has been playing in what was once known as the Bing Crosby since 2006 and as Mahan’s partner since 2008, making the Sunday cut in 2011 and 2014. (Dundon has also played with Tag Ridings, Robert Garrigus and N.C. State’s Tim Clark.) Their group this week will include another of Dundon’s friends from Dallas, former Cowboys quarterback and CBS analyst Tony Romo – whose presence, playing with Will Zalatoris, may get the group a little more CBS air time than would normally be warranted.

Dundon, who has a 6.1 USGA index and is a 6 handicap for tournament purposes, hasn’t posted an official score since October but has been described by friends as an obsessive swing-tinkerer and practice-range junkie. Mahan, a six-time PGA tour winner, finished second at Pebble Beach in 2011.

Hunter Mahan tees off on the ninth hole during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club, Saturday, June 15, 2013, in Ardmore, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

The group tees off at 12:17 p.m. ET on Thursday at Spyglass Hill, 11:33 a.m. ET at Monterrey Peninsula Country Club on Friday (off the 10th tee) and 1:16 p.m. ET at Pebble Beach itself on Saturday. The field is cut from 156 pro-am teams to the low 25 pro-am plus ties for Sunday. Dundon’s group will be playing right behind Bill Murray and Darius Rucker – annually, Murray has the biggest gallery on the course – which should make for an interesting experience.

Television coverage Thursday and Friday is on Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. ET. On Saturday it’s Golf Channel from 2-3:30 p.m. and CBS from 4-7 p.m. On Sunday, it’s Golf Channel from 1-2:45 p.m. and CBS from 3-6:30 p.m. Obviously, the primary focus of the TV coverage is the pros but there’s always the possibility for an amateur to get some air time – especially if playing with a CBS personality.

Other locals in the field include Chesson Hadley, Grayson Murray and three-time Rex Hospital Open winner Kyle Thompson, who isn’t from the Triangle but just seems like a local at this point.

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, ldecock@newsobserver.com, @LukeDeCock