The 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am got off to a hot start Thursday from both a weather and scoring perspective. The unseasonably warm and calm conditions produced scoring opportunities that PGA Tour professionals dream of and they feasted, in relative terms on all three tracks.
Kevin Streelman and Beau Hossler set the pace at 7-under 65, with Streelman’s coming on the tougher Spyglass Hill layout. Playing early with Jerry Kelly, Aaron Rodgers and Larry Fitzgerald, Streelman seized the rare opportunity to tour Spyglass at the AT&T in less than 5 hours.
“Larry and Aaron are just great guys and it’s always fun to see Jerry out here.” Streelman said. “We got to play nice and fast being in the first group.”
Hossler, a PGA Tour rookie, carded a bogey-free round that included a back-nine 31 and over 100 feet of made putts at host Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Matt Kuchar heads a group of three players one shot back with his 66 at Spyglass. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, playing with his father-in-law, Wayne Gretzky, is two back, while the likes of world No. 3 John Rahm, Rory McIlroy, and defending Barracuda Championship champion Chris Stroud are in a pack at 4-under 68. McIlroy is enjoying sharing the week with his father, Gerry, as his partner.
“It was great being out there with him.” McIlRoy said. “It’s been such a good week so far. He abandoned me on Monday to go play Cypress (Point Club), which is understandable. And then we have had a blast the last few days.”
More big names lurk at 3-under 69, including Jason Day, Bubba Watson, and Phil Mickelson, while Jordan Spieth continues his early season slump with a 72. In the Pro-Am portion, Larry Fitzgerald took his pro Streelman’s score 7 shots lower, as they ham n’ egged their way to a three-shot lead at minus 14.
Conditions for Friday appear to be more of the same, so expect abundant sunshine, low scores and huge crowds heading to the weekend.
– Michael Smyth