McDowell rolls back the years at Pebble Beach

McDowell rolls back the years at Pebble Beach

Since 2010 no one has played the course better in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am than Day, and he added to his good fortune on the Shore layout in Thursday's first round.

His round included a birdie on the par-three ninth, his 18th hole of the day, to leave him alongside Gay on seven under.

Gay finished in the top 10 here past year, too, so he has a little bit of recent history, but he doesn't have a top-20 on the PGA Tour since the Wyndham Championship last August.

Former world No.1s Jason Day and Adam Scott headline a nine-strong Australian contingent this week while two-time Pebble Beach victor Johnson and five-time major victor Phil Mickelson are also in the field.

In the opening round of the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Jordan Spieth turned in a 5-under 66 at the Monterey Peninsula, placing him two-strokes off the lead heading into Friday.

"It was great out there today and it's nice to get off to a good start", said Gay, who has won four times on the PGA Tour, but not since the 2013 Humana Challenge.

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The tournament, which sees professionals play alongside celebrities, is spread across three courses near the picturesque town of Carmel - Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula.

Slieve Russell talent Maguire (24) ended the day tied 97th after a one-over 73 at the Beach Course, making just one birdie and two bogeys in a 32-putt round.

Also of note: Cody Gribble shot the best round of the day compared to the field average on his course.

Nine players were a single shot back on five under, including South Africa's Branden Grace, who played the Pebble Beach course. Dustin Johnson (+500) and Jason Day (+800) are the betting favorites, with Tony Finau (+1800) the only other golfer shorter than 20-1.

"I think that one of the rule changes that came about where you can fix some areas of the green that were caused by other players made a big difference in this tournament for everybody, because around the hole you can smooth out some of the spike marks and indentations".

"I'm pleased with it (but) I definitely left some shots out there", said Johnson, four days removed from victory at the European Tour's Saudi International.

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