Ex-OSU standout Hunter Mahan enjoys opening round at Pebble Beach
BY Associated Press
Friday, February 08, 2013
2/08/13 at 5:54 AM
Hunter Mahan was bracing for the worst of Pebble Beach, his golf bag weighed down with rain gear and everything else to handle nasty weather.
Instead, he was reminded how much he loves Pebble Beach.
It helps that the former Oklahoma State star drilled a 3-wood onto the 18th green for a two-putt birdie that gave him a 6-under 66 and a share of the lead to par with Russell Knox in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Better yet, the rain everyone was expecting early in the afternoon never showed up.
So when Mahan was asked about the most interesting part of the day, all he could think of was that it was boring - in a good way.
"I had a good time with my partner. The pace was great. The weather was good," he said. "I think the most interesting thing was we had perfect weather when it was supposed to rain at noon. We were all expecting rain. The bag probably weighs 100 pounds right now."
Mahan took advantage of a gorgeous day by attacking Pebble Beach, the place to be when the conditions are calm. He missed only two greens and had only one birdie attempt longer than 20 feet.
It was a good start, but nothing more. With three very different courses in the rotation, weather than can change without notice and one course with a different par, no one has a good idea where they stand until after three rounds on Saturday.
Knox, who grew up in northern Scotland and has family roots in California, made the most of his limited starts on the PGA Tour. He had a 6-under 64 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula. Knox finished out of the top 125 on the money list last year as a rookie, so his opportunities will be limited this year.
The best round might have belonged to Seung-yul Noh of South Korea, who played at Spyglass Hill. It's typically the toughest of the three courses when conditions are benign, and such was the case on Thursday.
Pebble and Monterey Peninsula played nearly a half-shot under par, while Spyglass was almost a half-shot over par.
Noh reached 7 under until making bogeys on the last two holes for a 5-under 67, which only slightly soured his day. He still had the best score at Spyglass.
Also at 5 under were Scott Langley (65 at Monterey Peninsula) and Matt Every, who had a bogey on his final hole at Pebble Beach for a 67.
Phil Mickelson opened with a 69 at Monterey Peninsula.
Kiefer, Sterne share lead at Joburg Open: In Johannesburg, Germany's Maximilian Kiefer and South Africa's Richard Sterne shot 8-under 63s to share the lead after the first round of the European Tour's Joburg Open.
Original Print Headline: Mahan enjoys opening round
Hunter Mahan (right) laughs with caddie John Wood after hitting from the 18th tee of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during Thursday's first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, Calif. ERIC RISBERG/AP