Friday, February 09, 2018

Streelman and Hossler share first-round lead on seven-under 65


2018 AT and T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
(The 14th of 44 events in the PGA TOUR season)

Pebble Beach, Calif.        Feb. 8-11, 2018                 Purse: $7,400,000 ($1,332,000/500 FedExCup pts)
Pebble Beach Golf Links (Host)                                 Par/Yards: 36-36—72/6,816
Spyglass Hill Golf Course                                             Par/Yards: 36-36—72/6,953
Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Shore Course     Par/Yards: 34-37—71/6,958

First-Round Notes – Thursday, February 8, 2018

Weather: Sunny, with a high of 70. Wind W/NW 5-10 mph.

First-Round Leaderboard
Kevin Streelman   65 (-7) SH
Beau Hossler        65 (-7) PB
Matt Kuchar          66 (-6) SH
Julian Suri             66 (-6) SH
Aaron Wise           66 (-6) MP

Other Asian players' scores
Zecheng Dou        67 (-5) PB
Xinjun Zhang        68 (-4) PB
K.J. Choi               69 (-2) MP
Sangmoon Bae    71 (-1) PB

First-Round Lead Notes
Since 2000, the first-round leader/co-leader at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has held on for the win just five times: D.A. Points (2011), Dustin Johnson (2009, 2010) and Phil Mickelson (2005, 2007).

Through 13 events in the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season, five players have converted an 18-hole lead/co-lead into victory. Most recently, Jon Rahm did so at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Kevin Streelman
Making his 11th start in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Kevin Streelman made seven birdies and no bogeys at Spyglass Hill, good for a 65. In relation to par, the 7-under 65 is his best of 37 rounds by two strokes.

Streelman finds himself with at least a share of an 18-hole lead on the PGA TOUR for the third time (2008 U.S. Open/T58 and 2016 Sanderson Farms Championship/T14).

Streelman hit 12 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens. Of the seven greens he missed, he managed to get up and down all seven times. He needed just 22 putts to complete his round. His only top-10 finish in the event, a T9, came in 2012. He finished T17 and T14 in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Streelman is in search of his third career US PGA TOUR win and first since the 2014 Travelers Championship.

Streelman is making his ninth start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season. He has not missed a cut and has finished outside the top 30 just twice. His best showing is a T10 at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Beau Hossler
At Pebble Beach, first-year PGA TOUR member Beau Hossler made seven birdies and no bogeys en route to a 65. Four of those birdies came on his last six-hole stretch, Nos. 13, 14, 16, and 17.

Hossler made his first professional start in golf at the 2016 TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational, where he finished T9.

In his only other start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Hossler missed last year’s cut.

On the US PGA TOUR this season, Hossler is making is 10th start, having missed just one cut (Sony Open in Hawaii). His best finish is a T7 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Before this week, Hossler’s best 18-hole position on the PGA TOUR (17 professional starts) was T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago. He finished T49.

Zecheng Dou
China’s Zecheng Dou made six birdies against a lone bogey for an opening 5-under 67 at Pebble Beach for T6 position, two shots behind the leaders, and matched his low opening round score in his rookie PGA TOUR season. He also shot 67 at the CareerBuilder Challenge last month. T

he 21-year-old hit 78% fairways and 83% greens in regulation at the iconic venue with a 17-foot birdie on the eighth hole being his longest birdie putt of the day.

Ranked No. 1 on the PGA TOUR Series-China in 2016 which earned him playing rights on the Tour last year, the 21-year-old Dou became the first Chinese player to win on the developmental tour last July and later became the first mainland Chinese player to earn his PGA TOUR card where he was subsequently joined by countryman Xinjung Zhang. Zhang shot a 68 on Thursday while playing in the same group as Dou in the pro-am format tournament.

This is Dou’s ninth start on the PGA TOUR this season where his only cut came at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai last October. His playing amateur partner this week is WeChat CEO Allen Zhang.

Xinjun Zhang
Starting from the 10th tee, Zhang made three bogeys in his first four holes against two birdies on 11 and 17 to turn in 37 but came home with five birdies on holes two, four, six, seven and eight to sign for a 68 for T16 position. The Chinese is hoping to bounce back from two missed cuts in his last two starts on the PGA TOUR.

In eight tournaments so far in the 2017-18 season, Zhang, who earned his PGA TOUR card through the Tour, has enjoyed two top-25 finishes and currently lies in 105th position in the FedExCup standings.

Dou Quotes
My driving was a lot better and I putted really good too today. It’s important to get the ball on the fairways here and I’m happy with my performance. Also, I felt really relaxed playing on the golf course as my goal was to enjoy the venue and the tournament. The weather was perfect and Pebble Beach is certainly one of the best courses I’ve played on. It was quite fun to have four Chinese golfers playing together in the same group. I will stay positive and stay patient and hopefully the good results will come soon.

Zhang Quotes
I am trying out some new irons this week, and at the beginning of the round, it didn't go very well. I made three bogeys in the first four holes, but I didn't give up. Overall I am very happy, especially about the birdie on my 17th hole, I think it is the most difficult hole on the golf course and that birdie gave me great confidence.

Matt Kuchar
At Spyglass Hill, Matt Kuchar made five birdies on his inward nine (Nos. 1-9) before posting a 6-under 66. His lone bogey of the day came at the par-3 third.

Kuchar is making his 12th start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week and comes off a missed cut in 2017. His lone top-10 finish, a T6, came in 2007.

Prior to 2017, Kuchar had not made a start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am since 2010 (WD).

Kuchar, a seven-time PGA TOUR winner, is looking for his 96th top-10 finish in his 406th TOUR start this week. His last victory came at the 2014 RBC Heritage.

Julian Suri
Playing on a sponsor invite, Jacksonville, Florida native Julian Suri birdied six of his first seven holes at Spyglass Hill (10-12, 14-16) en route to a 6-under 66. He took a double-bogey six at No. 13.

Suri, who is ranked No. 66 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is making his fourth career start on the PGA TOUR. Most recently, he missed the cut at last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Despite playing only a partial European Tour season in 2017, Suri won the Made In Denmark tournament and finished 52nd in the Road to Dubai.

In addition to his win in Denmark on the European Tour, Suri finished solo-second at the Open de Portugal Morgado in his first start of the season on that Tour.

Suri ended his 2017 European Tour season with three-consecutive T8 finishes last fall.

Additional Player Notes
Defending champion Jordan Spieth made one birdie and one bogey at Spyglass Hill en route to an even-par 72. Spieth, an AT&T-sponsored athlete, is making his sixth start in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He has finished inside the top 25 in every start, highlighted by three top-10s (2014/T4, 2015/T7 and 2017/1st). He finished T22 in 2013 and T21 in 2016.

World No. 1 and two-time AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner Dustin Johnson opened with a 5-under 67 at Spyglass Hill. He made six birdies and one bogey (par-3 fifth). Johnson will tee it up at Monterey Peninsula Country Club for round two.

World No. 2 Jon Rahm opened with a 4-under 67 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. In his last two starts on the PGA TOUR before this week, he combined for a 23-under total on the par-5s. In his last two rounds played on TOUR (final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and round one of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), he has made no birdies.

Making his first start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and first of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season, Rory McIlroy made six birdies and two bogeys at Spyglass Hill, good for a 68. Last month, McIlroy finished T3 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and 2nd at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. McIlroy is playing with his father, Gerry, this week.

A week removed from his playoff victory over Chez Reavie at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Gary Woodland opened with a 3-under 69 at Spyglass Hill. Reavie posted a 5-under 67 at Pebble Beach.

Two weeks after his victory at the Farmers Insurance Open, his 11th win on the PGA TOUR, Jason
Day opened with a 3-under 69 at Spyglass Hill. Day is making his ninth start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week, where he has claimed four top-10 finishes. Most recently, he finished T5 in 2017. He has never missed a cut in the event. Day will play round two at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

Making his 22nd career start at Pebble Beach, four-time AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner Phil Mickelson overcame three bogeys on his first seven holes at Spyglass Hill with four birdies on his inward nine to post a 2-under 70. Mickelson will play his second round at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.  

En route to a 5-under 66 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Patrick Cantlay played his first three holes (Nos. 10-12) birdie-ace-birdie. He made the hole-in-one at No. 11 from 176 yards using an 8-iron.

1995 AT and T Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner Peter Jacobsen is making his 30th start in the event this week, dating to 1977. This marks his first start in this tournament since 2008 (MC). Jacobsen opened with a 6-over 78 in round one.

Nine past AT and T Pebble Beach Pro-Am champions are in the field this week: 
Jordan Spieth/2017 (E/T98), Vaughn Taylor/2016 (-1/T71), Brandt Snedeker/2013 and 2015 (-1/T71), Jimmy Walker/2014 (-4/T16), Phil Mickelson/1998, 2005, 2007 and 2012 (-3/T32), D.A. Points/2011 (-2/T53) Dustin Johnson/2009 and 2010 (-5/T6), Vijay Singh/2004 (+3/T135) and Peter Jacobsen/1995 (+6/T153).

Shane Bertsch withdrew prior to the first round and was replaced by Stuart Appleby (73/SH).

Bogey-free rounds:
R1: Beau Hossler (65/PB), Kevin Streelman (65/SH), Shane Lowry (67/MP), Peter Malnati (67/MP), Keith Mitchell (67/SH), Bubba Watson (68/MP), Sean O’Hair (69/MP), Aaron Wise (65/MP).

Scoring Averages
                  Front 9             Back 9             Total                Cumulative
PB             35.077             36.231             71.308            
SH             35.692             35.538             71.231
MP             34.019             35.538             69.558




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