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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Rory McIlroy talks with his father and amateur partner, Gerry McIlroy, while waiting to putt Thursday.

Friday, February 09, 2018 1:00 am

Golf

Rookie co-leads at Pebble Beach

Associated Press

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The one time Rory McIlroy could have been slightly annoyed was the very reason the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was so enjoyable.

A shadow.

McIlroy was just starting to take his driver back on the par-5 seventh at Spyglass Hill when he saw the shadow of his father move. With so much sunshine Thursday across the Monterey Peninsula, that was inevitable.

“So I backed off it. I said, 'Fine, stand still.' Blocked it way right and hit my second in the water,” McIlroy said. “Hard to say anything. Chipped in for birdie, so I was like, 'You're forgiven.' ”

There wasn't much not to like on a day like this, especially for Kevin Streelman and Beau Hossler, a PGA Tour rookie.

Streelman kept bogeys off his card for a 7-under 65 at Spyglass.

He shared the lead to par with Hossler, who was bogey-free at Pebble Beach.

McIlroy, meanwhile, used that unlikely birdie on No. 7 to begin his move that eventually reached 4 under until a scrappy finish for a 68, leaving him three shots behind in his debut in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

“A couple of messy holes coming in,” he said. “Made a good bogey on 16. Made a great par on 17. It was nice to finish with a birdie at the last. So all in all pretty pleased.”

Scoring conditions were so good that 97 out of the 156 players broke par.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth was not among them. He made one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars. He was at 72.

Dustin Johnson, a two-time Pebble winner and the No. 1 player in the world, had very little stress after he got up-and-down from the collar of the green at the par-3 fifth hole for bogey at Spyglass.

EUROPEAN: In Perth, Australia, defending champion Brett Rumford shot an 8-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead over English veteran Lee Westwood in the World Super 6 Perth. 

Nine golfers were tied for fourth, three strokes behind Rumford.

The top 24 after three rounds play a series of six-hole shootouts in the event co-sanctioned by three tours: European, Asian and PGA of Australia.