Sunday, December 17, 2017
Golf

Rookie leads rainy PGA's Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Andrew Loupe knows how one week can change everything. He can only hope his 8-under 63 in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is the start of another good one.

Loupe had to wait three hours to tee off because of rain Thursday, then he played bogey-free on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula. That gave him the lowest score among those who finished their rounds.

Rain soaked the Monterey Peninsula in the morning. Puddles quickly formed on the greens at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill, forcing play to be stopped on all three courses.

The Shore Course played the easiest, and Loupe took advantage. He never had to scramble for par, missed only one fairway and only two of his birdies were more than 10 feet.

The 25-year-old from Louisiana hasn't made the cut in five starts his rookie season. Loupe might not even have a PGA Tour card except for his tie for sixth in the Web.com Tour Championship at Sawgrass in September.

"I did miss a few cuts coming into Sawgrass and played good," he said. "And I just knew that I could do it again. Would I like to play more consistently? Yes. But I just want to keep this rolling."

Stuart Appleby, Jim Renner, Richard Lee and Scott Gardiner had 65s at Monterey. Phil Mickelson was at 5 under through 15 holes when the round was stopped because of darkness.

PGA Europe: Italy's Edoardo Molinari, chasing a British Open spot as well as his first title in four years, headlined a four-way tie for first after the opening-round lead of the Joburg Open in Johannesburg, South Africa. Joining him at 7-under 64 were Scottish pair Alastair Forsyth and Craig Lee and South African Justin Walters.

No Tiger: Tiger Woods is skipping the WGC-Match Play Championship in Arizona in two weeks, the first time he will miss the event when healthy and the tournament was held in America. Woods said he will stay home on Jupiter Island and prepare for three tournaments in Florida.

Approved: The United States Golf Association approved the use of distance-measuring devices in all of its amateur championships and their qualifying events, starting this year. The USGA said the ruling reflects a joint decision with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. Distance-measuring devices will remain banned at the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open and their qualifying events.

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