New York: Friday, February 26, 2021
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New York: Friday, February 26, 2021
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Patrick Cantlay ties course record with 62 and leads at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Patrick Cantlay appeared simply pretty much as good Thursday at Pebble Beach because the final spherical he performed 18 days in the past.

Jordan Spieth appeared pretty much as good as his final match, too.

Coming off a 61 within the California desert adopted by at two-week break, Cantlay opened with seven birdies in eight holes and closed with two straight birdies for a 10-under 62. That tied the course record at Pebble Beach final matched 24 years in the past by David Duval, and it gave Cantlay a two-shot lead within the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

“I feel like I’m in a groove right now,” Cantlay mentioned.

(*62*) Norlander and 19-year-old Akshay Bhatia had been at 64. Bhatia hit all 18 of the small greens at Pebble Beach, the primary participant to do this at Pebble since Ryan Palmer in 2008.

Spieth moved one other spherical nearer to some sort of a groove. He tied for fourth final week within the Phoenix Open, his finest end since May 2019 at the PGA Championship. Spieth holed out a wedge on the tenth gap for eagle and completed with three birdies over his final 5 holes for a 65.

It helped being at Pebble Beach, usually the simplest course when the climate is dry and comparatively calm. Only one of many main 10 scores was at Spyglass Hill. That got here from Will Gordon, who shot a 66. Spyglass performed barely two photographs tougher.

Today you needed to step on the gas pedal and take advantage,” Spieth mentioned. And then he thought-about that his 65 was solely adequate for a tie for fourth with Nate Lashley.

“I got bested by three today,” Spieth mentioned. “I’m going to have to keep my foot on the gas.”

Rain was within the forecast in a single day and presumably lingering into Friday earlier than returning early within the weekend.

Without spectators and with out amateurs this 12 months, the match is utilizing solely two programs as a substitute of three. It was extra uncovered than common with out grandstands behind the sixth inexperienced and overlooking the picturesque par-3 seventh.

And the tempo of play, with three execs as a substitute of a foursome of execs and amateurs, was faster.

Low scores at Pebble Beach begin with good climate and benefiting from the entrance 9, and Cantlay had each of these going for him. He one-putted each inexperienced on the entrance 9, and capped off a stretch of 4 straight birdies with a 7-iron that landed subsequent to the outlet on No. 8 and left him a quick 6-footer for birdie.

The end additionally was spectacular, with a 7-iron that settled about 7 toes beneath the outlet on the par-3 seventeenth, and a nifty wedge from proper of the 18th inexperienced for an up-and-down and his tenth birdie.

“I think we got Pebble in pretty much ideal conditions and I don’t think it’s going to be like that the rest of the week,” Cantlay mentioned. “The greens were good this morning and receptive, and so I hit a lot of good shots just right out of the gate and made everything. I didn’t have very many long putts, but the mid-range putts that I did have I made all of them.”

Tom Kite additionally had a 62 at Pebble Beach when he gained in 1983. Duval was runner-up when he had a 62 in 1997.

Bhatia has been counting on sponsor exemptions because the former Junior PGA champion determined to show professional proper out of highschool. He additionally was at Pebble, beginning on the again 9 and making his surge late within the spherical. His final birdie was an method over a nook of the ocean to three toes on the par-3 eighth gap, and he made a 6-footer for par on the ninth.

“Hitting 18 greens out here with the greens being small helps,” he mentioned with a smile.

Phil Mickelson, a five-time champion at this occasion, opened with a 74 at Spyglass and must hope for equally first rate climate at Pebble Beach to make the reduce.

While Spyglass was harder, almost half the 156-man discipline programs broke par, and one-third of the gamers shot within the 60s. The programs had been inclined to good scoring, particularly Pebble Beach, and it was necessary for Spieth to seek out some momentum he has been missing since his final win at the 2017 British Open.

He was tied for the 54-hole lead in Phoenix and shot 72 to complete two behind. He’s proper again within the combine at Pebble Beach, the place he gained in 2017.

“Pebble presents a lot of precision and you’ve got to really trust what you’re doing,” Spieth mentioned. “When the conditions were going to be easier today, you needed to kind of sho-ot a low round and make sure you’re in this tournament because it’s going to be a grind the next few days.”

DIVOTS: Defending champion Nick Taylor opened with a 69. … Kamaiu Johnson, from the Advocates Pro Golf Association Tour, opened with an 81 at Spyglass Hill in his PGA Tour debut. Johnson was imagined to play Torrey Pines till getting a optimistic check for the coronavirus. The AT&T Pebble Beach and Honda Classic supplied him exemptions. … John Daly took a 9 on the 14th gap at Spyglass on his technique to an 80. … Rickie Fowler hit onto the seaside on the 18th gap at Pebble and made bogey for a 72, leaving him in a tie for seventy fifth.

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