Pebble Beach, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – Four days after losing a playoff, J.B.
Holmes fired the best first-round score of his career on Thursday to share the
lead with Justin Hicks at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
A lineup of familiar faces was stacked up behind them after a warm, sunny day
on the California coast.
Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker you might expect.
Then there was 48-year-old John Daly, playing without status on tour and
making a rare appearance near the top of the leaderboard.
Holmes holed his second shot of the day for an eagle at Pebble Beach’s par-4
10th on the way to an 8-under 64 and Hicks finished with an 18-foot eagle putt
on Pebble’s 18th to join him.
But much of the attention was focused on Daly, the two-time major champion
known more these days for the odd sight of his platinum blonde hair and
Loudmouth pants than his play on the course.
Daly was within two shots of the lead when he lined up a birdie putt on the
par-3 17th at Pebble. He missed, but birdied the 18th for a 65 that arrived
with more than a little surprise that the round had gone so well.
“They don’t come easy and they don’t come often,” Daly, who last won in 2004,
told reporters. “I’m happy about it and hopefully I can just keep the same
rhythm I had today. I don’t know how or why. I just found something on the
Daly averaged 322 yards off the tee for his best score since a 64 in the third
round of the Sony Open last January.
“As long as I still hit the driver well and hit some fairways,” he said, “I
still think I can compete.”
Furyk, playing for the first time since last year’s Tour Championship, shot a
7-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula. Snedeker, the 2013 champion, also had a 64
at Monterey, as did Chesson Hadley. J.J. Henry and Dudley Hart shot 7-under
65s at Pebble Beach.
Alex Prugh had the best score at Spyglass Hill, a 6-under 66 that earned him a
share of ninth place with Rod Pampling, Matt Jones, Nick Watney, Pat Perez and
Holmes had seven birdies and one bogey after losing to Jason Day on the second
hole of a playoff Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open and beat his best
first-round score by a shot.
The three-time PGA Tour winner has opened with a 65 three times, including
once at this event in 2010.
Hicks, a two-time winner on the Web.com Tour, closed with a 5-under 31 on the
NOTES: Sunday’s final round will be played at Pebble Beach … Two-time
champion Dustin Johnson shot a 69 at Monterey … Defending champion Jimmy
Walker had an even-par 72 at Spyglass.