Loupe surprise leader at Pebble; Mickelson three back

By Doug FergusonFebruary 7, 2014, 2:03 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 one.

Loupe had to wait three hours to tee off because of rain Thursday, and 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, which was great news for an area desperate for rain, not so much for the tournament. Puddles quickly formed on the greens at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill, forcing play to be stopped on all three courses.

Monterey Peninsula 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 over 10 feet. This was his first trip to the area, and it was everything he imagined.


AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Articles, videos and photos


''This place is amazing,'' Loupe said with a smile as wide as a fairway.

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 last event of the Web.com Tour Finals. He had missed the cut in his previous three ''Finals'' event.

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

Pebble Beach played the toughest, though the weather was not nearly bad enough to make that much of a difference with only a cool breeze and no rain the rest of the day. Jimmy Walker, already a two-time winner this season, got up-and-down for birdie on the 18th for a 66, the best score at Pebble.

Jordan Spieth, playing with country singer Jake Owen, had the best round at Spyglass Hill at 67. He picked up birdies on all but one of the par 5s, stuffed one close on the uphill second hold and escaped with par with a long pitch from short of the sixth green.

''It was more of an effort just to really play safe on the harder holes,'' Spieth said. ''The par 5s you can take advantage of out here. I three-putted the first par 5 for par, but bounced back on the other par 5s. And then I finally made some putts on the back nine. We picked a great day to have Spyglass.''

Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner of this event, had a 68 at Spyglass Hill playing with his future father-in-law, hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

''More happy with the fact he was 4 under today and it's a tough course,'' Gretzky said. ''I'm here for fun. He's here for work.''

Johnson had to work hard for his birdie on the ninth hole. His approach struck the pin and bounced back some 40 yards off the green. He chipped that in for his third straight birdie, and then picked up another birdie on the par-5 11th. He closed with seven pars for what he believes was his first bogey-free round at Spyglass.

Graeme McDowell, back at Pebble Beach for the first time since he won the 2010 U.S. Open, opened with a 71 at Spyglass Hill. He has to wait until Saturday to play Pebble Beach with his father, Kenny.

Defending champion Brandt Snedeker had a 72 at Spyglass Hill.

Loupe kept reminding everyone that his 63 was only one round, though it sounded as if he was reminding himself. He is thrilled to be on the PGA Tour, and it really hit him a few weeks ago at Torrey Pines when some of the biggest stars began showing up.

This wasn't the start he imagined, however – one round out of 11 that was under par, five weekends off. He wasn't about to panic, either.

''I really just stick to the plan and I know that my group is good. I have 100 percent trust in my swing coach, my family, my trainer,'' he said. ''I guess when you're in those ruts, I just kept telling myself, 'You're supposed to be here, you're going to play good, just keep playing.' This is just one round, guys, but I feel good.

''I did miss a few cuts coming into Sawgrass and played good,'' he said of the week that secured his card in the Web.com finals. ''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.''

DIVOTS: Davis Love III was 2 over through 15 holes, but at least he had an amateur. Kelly Slater won the Volcom Pipe Pro 2014 on Wednesday at the Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, scoring a perfect 10 on one ride. He arrived at Pebble Beach about 5 a.m. Thursday. ... Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley opened with a 67 at Pebble Beach. ... Jim Furyk, in his first PGA Tour event since September, opened with a 70 at Spyglass Hill. David Duval made his first start of the year and shot 72 at Pebble Beach.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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