McCarron takes first-round lead at PGA Tour Champions
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) Scott McCarron shot an 8-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead Friday after the first round of the PGA Tour Champions’ Pure Insurance Championship.
McCarron had seven birdies and an eagle to go along with a bogey to set a new record on the par-71 Poppy Hills course. He broke the previous mark set by Jonathan De Los Reyes in 2015 and matched later that year by Olin Browne at this event.
”I played really solid today,” McCarron said. ”I gave myself a lot of opportunities. The weather was absolutely perfect. The course was in great shape.”
Starting off on the back nine, McCarron began his round with two birdies, and was at 3 under after another one on No. 15. He then birdied Nos. 1 and 2 and added an eagle on the par-4 No. 5 – holing an 84-foot wedge shot – to move to 7 under. A bogey on the next hole was followed by two birdies on his last three.
”I left a few out there,” McCarron said. ”I had chances to reach both par 5s on the back side and made pars, and I kind of tear up the par 5s normally, but I kind of got one back when I holed a sand wedge from 84 yards, which was a lot of fun. I haven’t holed a shot in a long time, but it was a lot of fun.”
Bernhard Langer was in second after a round-high 10 birdies to go along with bogeys on the par-3 No. 15, par-5 No. 18 and par-4 No. 7.
”I played very well for the most part, just hit it really close, a lot of short putts,” Langer said. ”One of those days I could have shot my age first time ever and I didn’t, but still a good score.”
Kevin Sutherland was another two shots back after a 66. Russ Cochran and Scott Parel were next at 67, joined at 4 under by Jerry Kelly and Scott Dunlap, who shot 68s on the par-72 Pebble Beach course.
Kelly, who won the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship last week, had his 12th consecutive round in the 60s – moving within one of the record set by Hale Irwin in 1999.
Fran Quinn, Jesper Parnevik, Davis Love III, Colin Montgomerie, Joe Durant, Tom Kite, Duffy Waldorf and Lee Janzen each shot 68s on Poppy Hills, and were joined at 3 under by Brandt Jobe, who had a 69 on Pebble Beach.
Defending champion Paul Broadhurst had a 70 on Pebble Beach and was tied for 17th at 2 under.
Poppy Hills had 13 of the top 16 scores.