A hat-trick of bogeys and a two-stroke penalty dented Rory McIlroy’s solid start to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am as he carded a first-round one-under 71.
McIlroy got off to a brilliant start on the Spyglass Hill course, finding two birdies for a bogey-free back nine before adding four more birdies to his tally on the first, third, fourth and fifth.
After his birdie run moved him to the top of the leaderboard, McIlroy then suffered the setback of a bogey on the par-four sixth and followed it up with another bogey on the par-five seventh to fall to second.
A third bogey in a row on the par-four eighth then saw McIlroy drop further down the leaderboard, finishing in 12th with the first round still under way.
Following his round, the Northern Irishman was then handed a two-stroke penalty after being assessed to have taken an illegal drop on the seventh hole, moving him even further back to one-under and down into 40th.
“Yeah, played really well for the first 14 holes and then obviously had a bit of a bad finish there,” McIlroy said following his round.
“But for the most of it, I hit the ball pretty well. There’s a lot of good stuff in there.
“Had that run of holes on six, seven and eight, but I mean apart from that, I actually played very well.
“I feel like my game’s in really good shape. I’m hitting it well, feel comfortable around the greens, on the greens.
“It was just one of those – I just let it – I had a really score and then just sort of let it get away from me those last few holes.”
Belgium’s Thomas Detry holed a closing birdie to shoot nine-under 63 at Spyglass Hill and capture the first-round lead.
Detry’s birdie at the par-4 18th was his third in a row to close a six-under 30 on the back nine. It pushed him just ahead of Patrick Cantlay, who set the pace earlier in the afternoon with a bogey-free, eight-under 64 at Spyglass Hill.
The 80 players in the signature event’s field are playing one round apiece at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill to open the tournament. They will proceed to Pebble Beach for the weekend rounds without a 36-hole cut as they vie for shares of a $20m purse.
France’s Matthieu Pavon – who earned his first PGA Tour victory last week at the Farmers Insurance Open to qualify – fired the low round of the day at Pebble Beach, a seven-under 65, putting him alone in third place.
Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo (Spyglass Hill) and South Korea’s Si Woo Kim (Pebble Beach) are tied for fourth at six under, and Rickie Fowler (Spyglass Hill) is tied for sixth with Collin Morikawa (Pebble Beach) at five under.
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