Just like the year, Jim Harbaugh started his off-season by participating in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Unlike last year, Alex Smith was not helping Harbaugh by being his caddie for the tournament. I wonder why?
This time around 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio served as Harbaugh’s caddie. The head coach was paired up with pro golf player Jason Day and both shot a 9-under-61 on the opening day of the tournament. However, just like his team in last week’s Super Bowl, Harbaugh came up short on the final day of play on Sunday. He and Day finished the tournament tied for 13th at 26 under par, five strokes behind the winners. The irony is the 49ers were five yards short of going ahead late in the Super Bowl exactly one week ago.
There were two surprising things about Harbaugh participating in the golf event. The first is that the tournament started on Thursday, three days after he and the 49ers returned back to the West Coast after their Super Bowl loss. I am not sure I would have wanted to be back in the spotlight so soon after the tough Super Bowl loss. But it likely served as a distraction for Harbaugh as he was in good spirits throughout the four-day tournament.
Another surprising thing was hearing the last time Harbaugh picked up golf clubs was at last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Harbaugh does not exactly have a lot of free time to go out to the golf course and swing his clubs, but he played as if he was practicing all year.
With the tournament held at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which is about a two hour drive south of San Francisco, there were plenty of Niner fans in attendance at the tournament. Harbaugh interacted with the fans and signed autographs. It also gave him a chance to reflect on the Super Bowl and what is next on his agenda with the off-season starting:
As a coach, I look at the game and the effort of our players and it was pretty plus, plus, plus. You’re down 22 points and that could go the other way and most of the time it does. The way our players fought and competed and nearly came all the way back, they’ll be regret that we lost. It certainly hurts, but you can live with regret. Becoming dispirited and not competing, you can’t live with that and that’s never been the case with our team. It’s a new day, we’ll plow forward.
We’re thinking about the combine in less than two weeks in Indianapolis. We have 13 or 14 draft picks, and (general manager) Trent Baalke and all the scouts worked all week and through the weekend, so we’ll join them Monday and get going on this draft.