PURE INSURANCE OPEN: McCarron takes first-round lead

Photo credit: Golf Feeds (@golffeeds)

By Jeremy Harness

Professional golf is back at Pebble Beach, and this time around, the weather is a whole lot better.

When the PGA Tour made its annual stop in the Monterey Peninsula back in February, the wind and rain wreaked havoc in the first two days of the event before things cleared up for the weekend.

There have been no such weather worries this week, and there do not figure to be any through the weekend, either, and the folks in the PGA Champions Tour – formerly known as the Senior Tour – are taking advantage.

During Friday’s first round, Scott McCarron grabbed the early lead at the PURE Insurance Championship, previously known as the Nature Valley First Tee Open, shooting an eight-under 63 to go into the weekend with a one-stroke advantage.

Playing at Poppy Hills, which was just remodeled last year, McCarron birdied the first two holes of his round before recording an eagle at the par-4 fifth to get to four-under. He suffered a bogey at the par-3 sixth but quickly rebounded with two more birdies on the front nine.

He then played a clean back nine, which included three more birdies to finish out his round.

He was very accurate off the tee on Friday, hitting 11 of his 13 fairways, and he was even better getting to the dance floor, as he hit 16 of his 18 of his greens in regulation to set himself up for the round that he had.

One stroke behind McCarron is Germany’s Bernhard Langer, a multiple Champions Tour winner who fired a seven-under 64 and made 10 birdies, the most in the field thus far. However, keeping him out of the lead was the three bogeys the he suffered, one on the front nine and two more on the back nine, including one at the par-5 18th to close out his round.

Kevin Sutherland is currently two shots behind Langer, and there are four players ties for fourth place at four-under.

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