PEBBLE BEACH, California (AP)—Champions Tour players John Cook and Olin Browne shot 6-under 66s at Del Monte Golf Course to share the first-round lead in theCallaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational on Thursday.
Cook, coming off a victory on Nov. 1 in the Champions Tour’s season-endingCharles Schwab Cup Championship, had six birdies in his bogey-free round.
“I’m pretty satisfied, considering I haven’t played at all since theCharles Schwab Cup,” said Cook, who won his first U.S. PGA Tour event at theBing Crosby Pro-Am on the Monterey Peninsula in 1981. “I mean I’ve hit a fewballs. But I didn’t have any expectations, so I’m pleasantly surprised.”
Browne, who won the Pebble Beach Invitational in 2001, opened with an eagle,shot 31 on the front nine and had four birdies while playing one group ahead ofCook.
“I got off to a nice start and made some nice putts,” said Browne, whojoined the Champions Tour in May after a three-win U.S. PGA Tour career. “DelMonte is the kind of course where if you hit quality shots, you’ll get lots ofbirdie chances.”
Jim Thorpe , one of 11 Champions Tour players in the field of 75 pros, shot a67, also at Del Monte. Matt Bettencourt , 10th this year in the U.S. Open, andChampions Tour veteran Tom Purtzer also shot 67s at Del Monte.
Daniel Chopra , whose last U.S. PGA Tour win was the 2008 Mercedes-BenzChampionship, and Rickie Fowler , who finished second this year in the Frys.comOpen, both carded 68s at Spyglass Hill. D.A. Points had a 68 at Pebble Beach.Four players are grouped at 69.
The event includes players from the four major U.S. professional tours aswell as mini-tour, club pros and amateur teams.
Two-time defending champion Tommy Armour III opened with a 71 at Del Monte.
The 72-hole event continues on Friday and Saturday at all three courses. Thefinal round on Sunday, which will include the top 40 pros and ties and top 10teams, will be held at Pebble Beach. The pro winner will receive $60,000 fromthe $300,000 purse.